As I read this story I began to realize it was not just about Judas Iscariot, but about Jesus of Nazareth and his amazing love for us.
This book begins with Judas as a child, but the story really started for
me when he encounters John the Baptist in chapter 8. After that I was
engrossed in each page I turned.
Tosca Lee did a great job helping me
emerge into the culture and time of Jesus. She also included tons of
Scriptural stories which she brought to life and reminded me of who
Jesus is and how much He loves us.
The New Testament is very clear that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus.
Pretty much every verse containing Judas's name is followed by, 'the betrayer,' 'the one who betrayed' or 'traitor.'
In Matt. 26:21 Jesus says:
"Now as they were eating, He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me."
and in Matt. 26: 24 He says:
"The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to
that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for
that man if he had not been born."
Yet, when Judas came to give Jesus that fatal kiss...Jesus called him friend. (Matt. 26:50)
At first I was a little confused about this, but then I realized it wasn't about who Judas was (Jesus is clear about his fate) ...it's about who Jesus is.
Jesus never stopped being his friend, never stopped loving him. It grieved Him when Judas betrayed Him.
Though Judas betrayed Jesus, though the pharisee's handed Him over to the authorities, though Pontius Pilate gave Him over to the people and though the people cried out 'crucify him!' I think it's really important that we remember that Jesus life was not taken from him.
He layed it down.
Jesus says in John 10:17-18
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to
lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have
received from My Father."
This is love.
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13
Another thing that got me thinking while reading this book was from Luke 22:3, where it says Satan entered Judas. What led to this point in Judas's life that this could happen?
"Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve."
racked my brain trying to figure out what it was that caused Judas to
betray one of his closest friends, a friend he loved. Then it dawned on
Judas never fully surrendered to the Lord. He never fully trusted. He left himself open to his fears, his doubts and deception.
Tosca Lee's story gives us an idea of what may have led up to that fateful night. But we
really don't know what led to that kiss of betrayal in the heart of Judas.
I do think he was no different then any of us.
When we don't fully
surrender, we can leave ourselves open for the enemy to work.
One thing this book will do is make you think and as a christian it will remind you of how much we need the Lord.
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