“While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that Scripture might be fulfilled.”-John 17:12
Prophecy is a strange thing. From the lips and pens of women and men, hundreds and even thousands of years prior, words anticipate what was yet to come. The Old Testament contains many messianic prophecies, all fulfilled in Jesus. One of the prophecies was Jesus’s betrayal by Judas, the “son of destruction.”
One of the questions that bothers me is whether Judas could have done otherwise? Did he have the freedom to not betray Jesus? Did Jesus choose him with the full knowledge that he would be the betrayer and, if so, could he have warned him earlier? Maybe he did. After Judas betrayed Jesus, did he ever repent? If not, could he have done so? Will I see Judas in heaven? It grieves me that this man, so crucial to the Passion’s story line, may not have had a choice. If I accept what I’ve always been told, Judas faced eternal damnation as a consequence of predestined action. For me, that is a tough pill to swallow.
Jesus, sometimes I wrestle with the implications of your words as I have come to understand them. I confess that my vision is clouded and that I do not fully grasp your purposes or timing. In truth, I do not know Judas’s fate, but I sure hope that he took an opportunity to return to you and that he knows the full embrace of your love. Amen.