Judas: The Insider Enemy

CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! (In case I probably don’t greet you on Pascha)

Have you ever noticed that none of the enemies of Christ were able to seize and kill Him without Judas? Herod massacred thousands of children but couldn’t find that One born in Bethlehem. The Sadducees tried a trick question but were silenced. Priest and scribes also fell short of outwitting the Lord. The Pharisees were consistent with their attacks on the Lord. But they needed the right opportunity to capture and ‘kill’ Jesus. Someone in the Lord’s inner circle had to make the opportunity possible. Outsiders without inside help would only continue to fail.

The Gospel’s biggest obstacle is not something outside of the Church. Drug and human trafficking are very problematic. We bemoan the scourges of abortion and gun violence. Our society continues to struggle with issues of class, race, and sex. All of these woes and others threaten to bring down God’s work on earth. But, these are all outside weapons that cannot prosper.

But Judas isn’t one of these outsiders. He is very close to Jesus. He has heard the lessons and seen the miracles. But he failed. to confess and repent of stealing from the treasury. Furthermore, he sold Jesus out to worldly enemies in order to enrich himself. Had Judas really learned the humility of the Samaritan leper, the woman caught in adultery, and others he witnessed, the Pharisees and others wouldn’t have been able to ‘succeed.’ The betrayal of Judas led to the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Realizing that he cheated himself from the eternal treasury and spiritual wealth, the insider enemy was left without hope.

Soon we celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s not forget the lesson from him who made the way for the crucifixion. Be repentant of sins, especially those that seem tolerable to others. Don’t be lured to desiring anything of an earthly kingdom more than the One who leads us to the heavenly kingdom. Put the lessons of the Gospel into practice. Falling short, as Peter and the others, is forgivable. To fall as Judas creates a horrible hopelessness. Satan has all of the outside forces he wants. They are useless without an inside agent.

For an excellent lesson on Judas and how he relates to all of us, please read this sermon from Seraphim Rose.

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