Walking by Faith Alone

Did Judas go to hell?

with 4 comments

I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking about Judas, one of the chosen twelve disciples, and the betrayer of Jesus. Is there anyone as hated in the Christian faith? The man who sold our Savior for 30 pieces of silver, the price in that day of a slave. The man who turned Him over with a kiss on the cheek.

My interest in Judas came about when one of my Sunday School kids (I teach 3rd graders) declared one morning in the middle of a lesson about Jeremiah, “You know who is burning in Hell?”

Of course all attention left me and on this little boy. “Judas. He is burning in Hell right now,” he mumbled.

I quickly redirected the brains and attention of my class back to the prophet Jeremiah, but the thought intrigued me. Is Judas burning in Hell?

To summarized the story, Judas was chosen by Christ to be one of His disciples. Historically, it is recorded Judas was the only disciple from a region called Negev (present day Judea). On the night of the Last Supper, it is told  in John 13 that Jesus spoke to Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

For thirty pieces of silver, a very small sum of money, Judas agreed to bring the Roman soldiers to Jesus. He would indicate who Jesus of Nazareth was by simply kissing Him on the cheek.  Judas called out to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Greetings Rabbi!” and Jesus responded, “Friend, do what you came for.”

When Jesus was taken into custody, Judas realized what he had done and repented, “I have sinned,” he said, “For I have betrayed innocent blood.” He threw the money into the temple and then left and hung himself.

Would God welcome such a betrayer into heaven?

In my prayers and research regarding this hated man Judas, I’ve come to realize several important things:

  • An evil man would have bartered for much more money. Jesus was a wanted commodity.
  • An evil man would not have repented
  • An evil man would not have been so desperate as to hang himself, but delight in his victory.

Judas had witnessed first hand the splendor and majesty of our Savior. He had seen Him do incredible feats, miracle after miracle. Is it possible Judas was simply forcing the hand of God? Prompting Him to demonstrate His power? Judas knew the soldiers were no match for Christ. What a victory it would be when Jesus defeated the Roman soldiers and declared Himself King of all kings!  How often do you and I attempt to force God to do that which we desire Him to do?

Those stripes on Jesus’ back? How many are yours? How many are mine? Do we not in some way betray our Savior on a daily basis? Do we not misrepresent Him when we gossip, judge, cheat, lie, and fail to defend Him? How many of us on a daily basis kiss the face of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver?

Could it be that any one of us are Judas at some point in our lives?

We live in a world surrounded by sin. Can we really judge Judas? Do we have a right to hate him?

When I was a little girl my Dad used to put his pocket change in a glass bear money bank which he kept in his sock drawer. As much as I try to remember, I can’t think what it was that I wanted to purchase but I took money from him – probably a dollar in nickels and dimes at the most. I couldn’t sleep because I was consumed with guilt. Finally, I went to my Dad and confessed that I had stolen money from him, and I returned what I had taken.

Later my Dad came and sat on the edge of my bed. He told me he loved me. I thought he would spank me or lecture me. I thought surely I’d be in trouble for days. Instead, he kissed my forehead and never mentioned it again. It was one of the greatest lessons of my life and I never took anything that didn’t belong to me again.

My Dad demonstrated the mercy of God. It is simple really but so many of us do not ‘get it’.

I cannot determine whether Judas is in Heaven or Hell – only God determines such – for He knows our hearts.  And although I would like to blame Judas for all that Jesus suffered on the cross, I know I cannot. For the nails which penetrated His hands and feet; the crown of thorns which gouged my Kings forehead; the words which mocked Him; the spit; the stripes on His back; all are just as much my fault as they are Judas’s.

I am careful where I place Judas. Did he not do the will of the Father? The harsh reality of Judas and his part in the Crucifixion leads me to ponder – realistically, shouldn’t I thank him?







4 Responses

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  1. well written, true and ponderous, thanks


    February 4, 2012 at 4:17 am

  2. I really appreciate this piece Nora. It brings me to think of all of the people who had a hand in the death of Jesus. It took someone to accomplish the will of God in the most significant sacrifice in human history. Pure evil could not have accomplished this. No matter how terrible ultimately it was an act of God’s LOVE! Would pure evil have purposed God’s will to save man-kind, to redeem us, to give us full relationship with God, to win our souls to heaven through Jesus Christ? I wouldn’t think so. Although God can use bad things for good this was purposed in God’s will according to his word.

    While I have no idea how God’s judgement falls on the hands that slung hammer against nails into the hands and feet of His son or His purpose with the wielder of the sword that pierced his side, but I do know that God was in control of the entire episode. psalm 34:20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. John 19:36 These things happened in the fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “not one of his bones will be broken.”

    How then can we be angry with Judas? God bless him for the scorn man has felt for him when he could have simply been answering God’s call. The scripture made it obvious that Jesus knew all that each of his disciples would do during this episode. Do you think that Jesus didn’t know Judas’ final purpose when he called him?


    February 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm

  3. The bible is clear when speaks in John 17:12 about the son of perdition, the pupil is right when he says that Judas is burning in hell. The problem is no longer here on earth, my friend here we just have another chance to recognize the voice of our Pastor. Judas’ greediness and his incredulity took him there, someone has to make the dirty jobs and is someone who is already rotten. PD. I respect any other opinion.

    Luis aguilar

    February 5, 2012 at 1:11 am

    • Luis,

      Respectfully and just for the fun of it I think I will challenge your position on John 17:12. I hope you don’t mind. It is all for God’s glory that we dig through his word for understanding.

      Jesus was praying for unity for the disciples who were left. Let’s back up to John 17:11, “And I am not longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12. 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 the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

      This is how I take it, this is a prayer from the Son to the Father….kind of a big deal….THE SON is asking of the ALL POWERFUL, ALL MIGHTY, RULER OF ALL THINGS PAST AND PRESENT AND TO BE Father to keep the disciples as one. Now, we know that God answers specific prayers ( i immediately can’t recall the ministry but who was the guy who prayed for rain and God sent a sprinkle, then he prayed again and he sent a down pour, then he got it right and there was a steady rain??) That story alone represents God’s willingness to hear exactly what we ask for. How much more so when HIS SON asks?? so Jesus was asking for unity from our God who hears and who has the power to bring Judas’ soul or body back from the grave.

      So Jesus carefully makes exception for Judas’ lack of physical presence in the world. He doesn’t just stop there, he bothered to make mention that Judas acted so that the ‘Scripture might be fulfilled.’ Is it possible that the ending of that sentence is a reminder that Judas didn’t act outside of the Will of God but was used by God? Is it possible that the “lost” he refers to is simply loss of life? Other than the obvious famine, illnesses, and a volatile time when people wouldn’t listen to reason and just wanted Jesus and his followers dead (remember Peter who denied Christ to save himself) bringing the disciples through this unscathed was quite a feat. So maybe that is how he meant it when he mentioned that none had been lost except Judas. And he asked for continual protection and unity for the rest.

      Speaking of Peter. If today we deny Jesus, He will deny us to the Father….hummmmm. How is Peter’s sin of denying Jesus three time before the rooster crows after pledging his undying allegiance to our savior hours before less of a sin than the kiss of Judas? It isn’t since we know that all sin is equal in the eyes of God. I would venture to say no one thinks Peter is in hell. I don’t even think he was all that broken up about denying Christ. But Judas, his heart torn within him could not stand to watch, to live, to face his Lord again. He judged himself and took his own life. What happens next we don’t know.

      But what I do know by using these two examples, Judas is being judged by our own standards. He is simply being judged by the “degree” of his sin in our eyes. We are mad at him based on our own limited human standards. In humanity murder is much worse of a sin than gossip….God see’s them the same. Hummmm….how often do we punish ourselves for a sin that God sees as equal to the “little” ones we don’t grieve over? How often do we let the world hold our sin by human standards and not regard our sin by God’s standard? How can we think that to deny Jesus with our “unchurched friends” by simply acting oblivious to his involvement in our lives is more forgivable than to take a bribe (dinner, lunch) to get gossip about a friend you will turn over to the people who seek to disgrace her?

      I still maintain that we don’t have enough “sight” to suggest God’s judgement on Judas. But it will be among the first 200 or so questions I ask Jesus when I get to heaven. I might even be greeted by Judas before I get the chance. 😉

      Respectfully and Filled with Love!

      Celena Brown Williams

      February 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

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