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The Betrayal of Christ

The Last Days of Jesus Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We must learn to deal with betrayal the way that Jesus does.

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Introduction
Three simple words. “Et tu, Brute?”
When say someone is a leader like George Washington, you immediately know what I mean.
These words, penned by William Shakespeare in his play “Julius Caesar”, capture the last moments of the leader Julius Caesar’s life.
Names that ring through history like Lincoln or Churchill - you remember them and what they stood for and their actions.
Caesar was murdered by upwards of 60 senators on March 15, 44 BC, as they grew concerned of his great power and influence.
Names from history that still ring through the years like
But there are other names like Benedict Arnold who’s actions define who they are, but not in a good way.
The famous words, which we don’t know for sure if Caesar said or not, were a response to the fact that Caesar’s friend, Marcus Brutus, was among the conspirators.
Such is the name of one of out main actors in our text today - Judas Iscariot.
History records that when he saw young Brutus he pulled his robe up to cover his face, so as not to look upon this betrayal.
If I call you J
And while I’ll leave it to history to determine if Brutus and the others were right or wrong in their actions, in Caesar’s eyes, the only thing worse than being assassinated in the Senate Chambers is being assassinated in the Senate Chambers by one of your closest friends.
Today, our text takes us to perhaps the only betrayal that is more famous than that of Brutus and Caesar.
The actions of Judas Iscariot are so notorious that elsewhere in Scripture we see that others who share his name are said to be Judas (Not Iscariot).
John 14:22 ESV
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Jo
In fact, in Judas, we don’t even need a last name, simply one - he was the forerunner to Madonna, Elvis, Cher, and Prince.
So, what can we learn from this monumental and historic betrayal?
Today I want to focus on three people in the text - Judas, Peter and Jesus and see what we can learn from them.
Because there are lessons for each of us to learn through their lives to this point and how we can grow.
And what we see between the two of them is a striking difference on how to deal with others, the act of betrayal and the wonders of Grace.
Lessons from Judas
EX - In the life of Judas, we see several lessons that show us that just because someone says they are a Christian, it does not mean that they actually are followers of Christ.
If you remember a few weeks ago, I pointed out that when in it says that “Satan entered into Judas” it was not a hostile takeover.
Judas saw that he was on the “wrong side of history” so he was preparing his escape route.
And he thought that if he betrayed Jesus, he would be doing his nation a favor and he might make a little money on the side.
So, Judas, this treacherous man, knew where Jesus would be and what he would look like so he said, “I’ll go up and embrace Jesus, then you’ll know who to arrest.”
Judas’ life is tragic in so many ways. But I want us to focus on perhaps the most tragic way and that is that Judas Rejected Jesus.
And not just here at the end, it was evident early on.
John 6:70–71 ESV
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
John 12:4–7 ESV
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.
These are just a couple of examples from John’s Gospel that show us that Judas was not truly born again. He rejected Jesus.
I want you to think about that for just a moment.
Judas was picked by Jesus.
He walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, listened to the teaching of Jesus.
And it never changed his life or his heart.
IL - Denying Jesus
Even recent history is littered with story after story after story about men and women who have studied the words of God only to reject them.
Names like Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, Rob Bell … all men who led churches only to reject a Biblical Christianity.
Closer to home, at Iowa State, Dr. Hector Avalos recently wrote a book titled “The Bad Jesus” where he makes the case that Jesus wasn’t such a nice guy after all.
Dr. Avalos, Dr. Ehrman, Mr. Barker … all people who have studied Scripture to a varying degree or another and rejected Jesus.
And we are all familiar with others, maybe a friend or a family member who has rejected Jesus despite what we have told them or taught.
The point is that there are plenty of people who have sat under the teaching of Jesus who have rejected the teaching of Jesus and even then worked to turn others away from him as well.
AP - Don’t Assume
Don’t assume that because you walked into church today that you are made right with God.
Don’t assume because you read your Bible or listen to Christian teaching or do what the Bible says that you are right with God.
Judas did all those things. And he still betrayed Christ.
Romans 3:22 NLT
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
We are only made right with God by trusting Jesus and placing our faith in Him.
Coming to church won’t do it.
Listening to good (and not-so-good) preachers won’t do it.
Reading your Bible won’t do it.
Only by trusting in Christ as our savior are we made right with him.
So, have you done that? I implore you to do that today.
Lessons From Peter
EX - When we are betrayed, will we wait to let God handle it?
In the chaos of the situation, Peter, both betrayed by Judas and seeing Jesus betrayed by Judas, decides to do something about it.
Peter, still thinking that this is the time to go to war for Jesus pulls out the sword and lops off the high priest’s servant’s ear.
We know it’s Peter because while the other three gospel writers are nice to Peter and leave his name out, John isn’t so nice.
John 18:10 ESV
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
This after what we see in verse 49 where they ask, “Lord, shall we now strike with a sword?”
Peter decides that it is up to him to defend Jesus and the Kingdom of God, all by himself if he has to - typical Peter.
But this raises a question - when you or someone you love is betrayed, what do you do about it?
IL - My Grandpa
I love my Grandpa - my dad’s dad. Poppy is what we called him. He died when I was 10, but I have heard stories about him.
One of my favorites is when during a discussion with someone over a matter, the other guy called him a liar.
That didn’t go over well and Poppy punched the man in the mouth.
Poppy got a fine for assault or disturbing the peace or something to which he said, “If I’d known I’d have to pay to punch him, I’d have made sure I’d gotten my money’s worth” - although I may have omitted a few words a preacher shouldn’t say on Sunday morning.
Here’s the point - our instinct, our tendency is to get even when someone wrongs us - betrays us. Lord knows I’ve punched people for calling me a liar in my younger days, too.
We want to settle the score and make things right. Jesus points us to a different way.
AP - Let Jesus have the vengeance
Notice what Jesus does here. He heals the man and rebukes Peter.
Jesus is in control of the situation.
From simply asking Judas if he would actually betray him with a kiss, a sign of affection?
To asking the priests and officers why they are coming after him as if he was a thief and robber - since he was in the temple day after day.
And because Jesus is in control of the situation - we can trust that He will take care of it. We shouldn’t seek to get even.
Romans 12:19 ESV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
I want to be clear, we CAN and SHOULD seek Justice.
So, if someone has hurt you, betrayed your trust and in so doing has broken laws, it is ok to turn them in or call the police.
But what we cannot do is take justice into our own hands and seek revenge. Whether they have broken a law or not, it’s not up to us to right the scales. That’s God’s job.
I’ve mentioned this before, but we can trust that every wrong done to you and to I will be paid for at some point.
Either the person who has wronged you will pay for their sin in hell.
Or Jesus has paid for it on the cross.
Either way, we shouldn’t try to extract more justice than what God demands.
EX - In the life of Judas, we see several lessons that show us that just because someone says they are a Christian, it does not mean that they actually are followers of Christ.
EX - Peter’s reaction to Judas’ betrayal is an example of now not to behave.
EX - In the life of Judas, we see several lessons that show us that just because someone says they are a Christian, it does not mean that they actually are followers of Christ.
John 18:10 ESV
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
If you remember a few weeks ago, I pointed out that when in it says that “Satan entered into Judas” it was not a hostile takeover.
John
Peter forgot to listen to all the warning signs that Jesus gave to him.
Judas saw that he was on the “wrong side of history” so he was preparing his escape route.
Peter was so quick to assume that this was the time to go to war that he impulsively forgot to wait for the answer from Jesus.
And he thought that if he betrayed Jesus, he would be doing his nation a favor and he might make a little money on the side.
And how many of us pray for wisdom and then go ahead and cha
So, Judas, this treacherous man, knew where Jesus would be and what he would look like so he said, “I’ll go up and embrace Jesus, then you’ll know who to arrest.”
Judas’ life is tragic in so many ways. But I want us to focus on perhaps the most tragic way and that is that Judas Rejected Jesus.
And not just here at the end, it was evident early on.
John 6:70–71 ESV
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
John 6:
John 12:4–7 ESV
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.
John 12:4:
These are just a couple of examples from John’s Gospel that show us that Judas was not truly born again. He rejected Jesus.
I want you to think about that for just a moment.
Judas was picked by Jesus.
He walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, listened to the teaching of Jesus.
And it never changed his life or his heart.
IL - Denying Jesus
If you remember a few weeks ago, I pointed out that when in it says that “Satan entered into Judas” it was not a hostile takeover.
IL
Even recent history is littered with story after story after story about men and women who have studied the words of God only to reject them.
Names like Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, Rob Bell … all men who led churches only to reject a Biblical Christianity.
Closer to home, at Iowa State, Dr. Hector Avalos recently wrote a book titled “The Bad Jesus” where he makes the case that Jesus wasn’t such a nice guy after all.
Dr. Avalos, Dr. Ehrman, Mr. Barker … all people who have studied Scripture to a varying degree or another and rejected Jesus.
And we are all familiar with others, maybe a friend or a family member who has rejected Jesus despite what we have told them or taught.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
There is the
The point is that there are plenty of people who have sat under the teaching of Jesus who have rejected the teaching of Jesus and even then worked to turn others away from him as well.
This verse is a principle, not a promise.
And as
AP
Judas saw that he was on the “wrong side of history” so he was preparing his escape route.
AP - Don’t Assume
Don’t assume that because you walked into church today that you are made right with God.
Don’t assume because you read your Bible or listen to Christian teaching or do what the Bible says that you are right with God.
Judas did all those things. And he still betrayed Christ.
Romans 3:22–26 ESV
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:22 NLT
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
The only way
Romans
We are only made right with God by trusting Jesus and placing our faith in Him.
Coming to church won’t do it.
Listening to good (and not-so-good) preachers won’t do it.
Reading your Bible won’t do it.
Only by trusting in Christ as our savior are we made right with him.
So, have you done that? I implore you to do that today.
And he thought that if he betrayed Jesus, he would be doing his nation a favor and he might make a little money on the side.
Lessons from Jesus
Lessons from Judas
So, Judas, this treacherous man, knew where Jesus would be and what he would look like so he said, “I’ll go up and embrace Jesus, then you’ll know who to arrest.”
EX -
EX
Judas’ life is tragic in so many ways. But I want us to focus on perhaps the most tragic way and that is that Judas Rejected Jesus.
IL
IL
AP
And not just here at the end, it was evident early on.
AP
John 6:70–71 ESV
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
Lessons from Jesus
EX - How Jesus dealt with the betrayal not only of Judas but of Peter in the next secion
John 12:4–7 ESV
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.
IL
These are just a couple of examples from John’s Gospel that show us that Judas was not truly born again. He rejected Jesus.
I want you to think about that for just a moment.
AP
Judas was picked by Jesus.
He walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, listened to the teaching of Jesus.
And it never changed his life or his heart.
IL - Denying Jesus
Even recent history is littered with story after story after story about men and women who have studied the words of God only to reject them.
Names like Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, Rob Bell … all men who led churches only to reject a Biblical Christianity.
Closer to home, at Iowa State, Dr. Hector Avalos recently wrote a book titled “The Bad Jesus” where he makes the case that Jesus wasn’t such a nice guy after all.
Dr. Avalos, Dr. Ehrman, Mr. Barker … all people who have studied Scripture to a varying degree or another and rejected Jesus.
And we are all familiar with others, maybe a friend or a family member who has rejected Jesus despite what we have told them or taught.
The point is that there are plenty of people who have sat under the teaching of Jesus who have rejected the teaching of Jesus and even then worked to turn others away from him as well.
AP - Don’t Assume
Don’t assume that because you walked into church today that you are made right with God.
Don’t assume because you read your Bible or listen to Christian teaching or do what the Bible says that you are right with God.
Judas did all those things. And he still betrayed Christ.
Romans 3:22 NLT
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
We are only made right with God by trusting Jesus and placing our faith in Him.
Coming to church won’t do it.
Listening to good (and not-so-good) preachers won’t do it.
Reading your Bible won’t do it.
Only by trusting in Christ as our savior are we made right with him.
So, have you done that? I implore you to do that today.
Lessons From Peter
EX - When we are betrayed, will we wait to let God handle it?
EX - When we are betrayed, will we wait to let God handle it?
In the chaos of the situation, Peter, both betrayed by Judas and seeing Jesus betrayed by Judas, decides to do something about it.
In the chaos of the situation, Peter, both betrayed by Judas and seeing Jesus betrayed by Judas, decides to do something about it.
Peter, still thinking that this is the time to go to war for Jesus pulls out the sword and lops off the high priest’s servant’s ear.
Peter, still thinking that this is the time to go to war for Jesus pulls out the sword and lops off the high priest’s servant’s ear.
We know it’s Peter because while the other three gospel writers are nice to Peter and leave his name out, John isn’t so nice.
We know it’s Peter because while the other three gospel writers are nice to Peter and leave his name out, John isn’t so nice.
John 18:10 ESV
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
John 18:10 ESV
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
This after what we see in verse 49 where they ask, “Lord, shall we now strike with a sword?”
This after what we see in verse 49 where they ask, “Lord, shall we now strike with a sword?”
Peter decides that it is up to him to defend Jesus and the Kingdom of God, all by himself if he has to - typical Peter.
Peter decides that it is up to him to defend Jesus and the Kingdom of God, all by himself if he has to - typical Peter.
But this raises a question - when you or someone you love is betrayed, what do you do about it?
But this raises a question - when you or someone you love is betrayed, what do you do about it?
IL - My Grandpa
IL - My Grandpa
I love my Grandpa - my dad’s dad. Poppy is what we called him. He died when I was 10, but I have heard stories about him.
I love my Grandpa - my dad’s dad. Poppy is what we called him. He died when I was 10, but I have heard stories about him.
One of my favorites is when during a discussion with someone over a matter, the other guy called him a liar.
One of my favorites is when during a discussion with someone over a matter, the other guy called him a liar.
That didn’t go over well and Poppy punched the man in the mouth.
That didn’t go over well and Poppy punched the man in the mouth.
Poppy got a fine for assault or disturbing the peace or something to which he said, “If I’d known I’d have to pay to punch him, I’d have made sure I’d gotten my money’s worth” - although I may have omitted a few words a preacher shouldn’t say on Sunday morning.
Poppy got a fine for assault or disturbing the peace or something to which he said, “If I’d known I’d have to pay to punch him, I’d have made sure I’d gotten my money’s worth” - although I may have omitted a few words a preacher shouldn’t say on Sunday morning.
Here’s the point - our instinct, our tendency is to get even when someone wrongs us - betrays us. Lord knows I’ve punched people for calling me a liar in my younger days, too.
Here’s the point - our instinct, our tendency is to get even when someone wrongs us - betrays us. Lord knows I’ve punched people for calling me a liar in my younger days, too.
We want to settle the score and make things right. Jesus points us to a different way.
We want to settle the score and make things right. Jesus points us to a different way.
AP - Let Jesus have the vengeance
AP - Let Jesus have the vengeance
Notice what Jesus does here. He heals the man and rebukes Peter.
Notice what Jesus does here. He heals the man and rebukes Peter.
Jesus is in control of the situation.
Jesus is in control of the situation.
From simply asking Judas if he would actually betray him with a kiss, a sign of affection?
From simply asking Judas if he would actually betray him with a kiss, a sign of affection?
To asking the priests and officers why they are coming after him as if he was a thief and robber - since he was in the temple day after day.
To asking the priests and officers why they are coming after him as if he was a thief and robber - since he was in the temple day after day.
And because Jesus is in control of the situation - we can trust that He will take care of it. We shouldn’t seek to get even.
And because Jesus is in control of the situation - we can trust that He will take care of it. We shouldn’t seek to get even.
Romans 12:19 ESV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Romans 12:19 ESV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
I want to be clear, we CAN and SHOULD seek Justice.
I want to be clear, we CAN and SHOULD seek Justice.
So, if someone has hurt you, betrayed your trust and in so doing has broken laws, it is ok to turn them in or call the police.
So, if someone has hurt you, betrayed your trust and in so doing has broken laws, it is ok to turn them in or call the police.
But what we cannot do is take justice into our own hands and seek revenge. Whether they have broken a law or not, it’s not up to us to right the scales. That’s God’s job.
But what we cannot do is take justice into our own hands and seek revenge. Whether they have broken a law or not, it’s not up to us to right the scales. That’s God’s job.
I’ve mentioned this before, but we can trust that every wrong done to you and to I will be paid for at some point.
I’ve mentioned this before, but we can trust that every wrong done to you and to I will be paid for at some point.
Either the person who has wronged you will pay for their sin in hell.
Either the person who has wronged you will pay for their sin in hell.
Or Jesus has paid for it on the cross.
Or Jesus has paid for it on the cross.
Either way, we shouldn’t try to extract more justice than what God demands.
Either way, we shouldn’t try to extract more justice than what God demands.
Lessons from Jesus
Lessons from Jesus
EX - How Jesus dealt with this betrayal gives us a pattern of how to deal betrayal in our own life
EX -
Jesus deals with betrayal quite differently than we do.
He doesn’t demand his rights. He doesn’t try to fight back.
Because in all of that, John records how Jesus asked who they were looking for and when they said Jesus, he replied, “I AM”.
And I want you
In fact, he is kind to those who betray him.
And they all fell down.
IL
IL -
He is kind to Judas - you can almost hear the heartbreak in his voice when he asks Judas if he will betray him with a kiss in verse 48.
And as such, he knows that
He is kind to the servant - he heals him and restores his ear.
He is even kind to the priests and officers - he doesn’t resist them even though he knows they are wrong and in league with the enemy of God.
The sharpest rebuke he has is for his friend Peter - that we see in verse 51.
This reminds us that we too must deal with betrayal differently than the world.
This should come as no surprise. Jesus is simply living out what he taught.
Luke 6:35 ESV
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
But I want us to consider that this is not the first time that Jesus was betrayed in a garden.
Romans 12:20 ESV
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
There is a Christian ethic that realizes when you leave vengeance to God, you can treat your enemies differently.
But I want us to consider that this is not the first time that Jesus was betrayed in a garden.
Think back to Genesis. Here it was in a garden that Adam and Eve first betrayed God.
When they took the fruit that was forbidden and ate it in outright defiance and rebellion to God - they too betrayed their God.
Friends, we need to understand that we are no different than Judas - that every time we sin we betray God.
When we give up on him and turn our backs on him - when we say he isn’t the God that he says we are no different than the high priests and temple officers.
When we get out in front of him and forget to listen to his instructions, we betray him.
We tend to minimize our sins, but we need to understand that sin is darkness. It is rebellion. It is betrayal…and it is redeemable.
AP - Trust Jesus with you betray him
Because just as Jesus showed compassion to those in this scene who betrayed him - Judas, the priests and even Peter for getting out in front of Him - Jesus shows compassion to rebels like you and me.
In fact, Jesus died for you and me.
Romans 5:8–10 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Romans 5:8-
Friends, if you are a Christian, you were an enemy of God but are now reconciled back to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
And if you are not a Christian today, this same gift of reconciliation is available to you. You don’t have to clean yourself to come to Jesus.
You too can be forgiven and reconciled.
All it takes is to trust Jesus, to confess your sins and to trust in what He did as full atonement for those sins. Will you do that today?
Conclusion - One Final Lesson
We need to realize that our sin needs to be dealt with
If there is one final lesson we can take from this passage on the Betrayal of Christ, it’s this: where you sit right now doesn’t determine where you will be tomorrow.
AP
Peter, well, Peter would go on to fulfill prophecy as we will see next week. But then, he would go on to become a powerful preacher, cornerstone of the early church and, according to history, a martyr for the faith.
In other words, was his sin so heinous that he was beyond forgiveness.
Judas? Well, Judas looked like he was sitting pretty with 30 pieces of silver and the favor of the religious authorities. But soon his guilt overcame him and he threw back the money and ended up hanging hi
That there is something you can do that is so awful that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.
I tell them the same thing -
Only records what happens to Judas after he betrayed Jesus.
He went back to
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