I’m picking up here where I left off in my last post, Judas Verses Peter (Part 2).
If Judas couldn’t be forgiven, I’d argue that it is only because he wouldn’t allow for it. If Judas is in hell, I’m not sure it’s because God is getting his revenge. At most I would suggest it is out of justice that God would do this, and with deep sorrow in his heart at that.
I imagine the notion that Judas could have been restored or that he could be in heaven will be deeply disturbing to some people. Why is this?
We all recognize that there is evil and injustice in the world. We correctly recognize that certain acts which a specific do are evil and injustice. We desire for these to be corrected and the injustice removed. However, there is a problem.
I think it is human tendency to judge people and place them into either the “good” or “bad” camp. It is easy to think, “Judas betrayed Jesus so he’s obviously in the bad camp and shouldn’t be shown mercy. Peter was obviously a better man because look how he became a church leader. He may have denied Jesus, but Jesus was right to forgive him because Peter was a good man.”
Is this true? Was Peter in and of himself a better man, more deserving and Jesus’ forgiveness than Judas? I’d argue that only God knows the answer to this question. God is the only one who can accurately judge what is in a person’s heart. But even then God desires to show us mercy, not because we deserve it, but because of his grace and love.
I further develop this thought in my next article, “Judging People: Good Guys Fight Bad Guys (Part 1)“.