I’ve heard it said that Judas Iscariot was condemned to hell because he betrayed Jesus. I’ve also heard it said that Christians harbor resentment against the Jewish people because they blame the Jewish people for the crucifixion and death of Jesus. I have some thoughts on both of these conjectures.
First, Judas. It is true that Jesus, in reference to Judas, said: “It is better for that man if he had never been born” (Matthew 26:24). Okay, so he was condemned to hell. But I believe it may have been for a different reason than that stated above. Betraying the Son of God (resulting in His death) is obviously very serious indeed. However, in reference to Judas, the Gospels say He “ ….went out and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5). To me, that was his sin – the sin of despair. I can’t help but think that if he would have come back to Jesus and begged forgiveness (ie., repented), he would have won heaven.
Second, the Jewish people. If some Christians harbor resentment against the Jewish people for the reason stated, then I say that those Christians are wrong. My thought on this is that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and die because that was what saved mankind from their sins. And that was Jesus’ purpose in becoming man. Regardless of the role anyone played in the crucifixion and death, it had to happen. By the way, this applies to Judas as well. Someone had to betray Christ, or mankind would not have been saved from their sinfulness. In my opinion, if Judas had only repented, we would be calling him St. Judas.
My prayer today is this: Lord, please give me the grace to always repent of serious sin and the humility to never to harbor resentment against anyone. Amen.
The photo is of a large cross seen alongside a hiking trail on the campus of the International Schoenstatt Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin.