Woe To That Man

March 23, 2022

For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born  (Matthew 26:24; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:22).

In this statement, Jesus gives us the bigger picture regarding His betrayal at the hand of Judas Iscariot. If we hold to the sovereignty of God in all things, then we believe the crucifixion of Jesus was not accidental, incidental, or circumstantial; that it was not just the act of man, but the act of man according to the predetermined will and plan of God. (Revelation 13:8) All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; emphasis mine).

The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was predetermined in the counsel of the Godhead before creation came into existence. God revealed many elements of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to the prophets who spoke over 300 prophecies regarding our Lord in the Old Testament. The betrayal of Jesus had been revealed hundreds of years before it ever occurred (Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12), and yet it was by the predetermined plan of God that it should be so (Acts 2:23). His betrayal by Judas was used by God to fulfill His plan for our salvation; “An unholy man in the hands of a holy God was used to accomplish a holy purpose” (John MacArthur).

Some say Judas’ action was precipitated by his desire to protect Jesus from the Chief Priests as a sort of ‘protective custody’ measure. Others say Judas cannot be held accountable for his actions since it was part of God’s plan that he betray Jesus to accomplish His purpose in winning our salvation. Still others say he was under the power and influence of Satan and therefore is not guilty of betraying Jesus - ‘the devil made me do it!’ - no, no, and no, Flip Wilson. 

God is sovereign over all things. But man has a free will to do as he determines. God uses man’s determinations to accommodate His sovereign will, but that does not eliminate man’s accountability for his actions. God may indeed forgive us of sin and thereby remove the judicial judgment for sin, but that doesn’t mean He removes the consequences of our sin. Wounds heal - scars remain. Someone said, “Judas was not an unwitting saint but a willing devil” (John 6:70).

For these reasons, and many more, Jesus said, woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born. How so? The prospects of eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15) far outweigh the reality of not having been born in the first place. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. . . Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-27,29). Amen.


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