Act 1:15-17 – In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, ‘Brothers and sisters,the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.’
The betrayal of Jesus by Judas is one of the most tragic stories, if not the most tragic story, ever told, for it concerns the handing over of the messiah by one of those who had actually shared in his ministry – ‘one of our number’ to use Peter’s term. Can there be anything more dastardly? Such was Judas’ brazenness he actually served as a guide for those who arrested Jesus. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he got money for it! No wonder his name has become a synonym. Look up Judas and you’ll find backstabber, double-dealer, quisling, and all kinds of other weasel words. But what should really capture our attention in this opening speech of Peter’s is not just the treachery of Judas but the sovereignty of God: that is, God’s unique ability to weave even treachery into the grand sweep of his salvation story. Not that it lets Judas off the hook. A few more verses and we’ll see how true that is. But for now, let’s marvel at the fact that even the betrayal of Judas ‘had to’ happen in order for scripture to be fulfilled. It may not look pretty. But then again, real dramas, the ones we tell our children and our grandchildren, never are.
Prayer: Sometimes I wish, Lord, that you would edit certain bits out the scriptures. But then again, what a dull story we would be left with. Thank you for cross.