Judas and the Self

Judas Iscariot killed himself out of overwhelming despair, disappointment and self-disgust. He had committed the worst sort of action and he hated himself for it. He betrayed the Christ and there is no amount of despondency or self-pity which can change that fact. Judas did what he did, and it is set in reality. A real Judas committed a real action against the real Christ in the real world that became part of Judas’ real record. He is the one who did it and emotion alone, regardless of amount, cannot make it disappear. Suicide cannot make it disappear. There was a way to make it right, but he chose a different route, the worst route. Here is the next fact about Judas: If he was deeply disappointed in himself here on earth his self-evaluation will not improve in Hades or in Hell. Judas is in torments and will be in Hell. He cannot escape his punishment and he cannot escape himself. He is forever Judas Iscariot. He will forever hate himself. He will always loath who he is. There can be no changing that now. In Matthew 26:24 Jesus says, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” Jesus was correct.

It is time to turn inward, to think about yourself for the moment, not in a selfish way, but in a consideration of your existence. We turn to the reality of you. You are not just a collection of likes and dislikes. You are more than that. While you possess talents and skills it would be wrong to have that define you. You are more than a set of abilities or an occupation: painter, bus driver or secretary. You are unique in character, but your personality is not the result of biological processes or the influence of your surroundings. While health, strength, cognition and experience have an effect on you, none of it is you. You are beyond them all. You are more than your body, background or environment. When you die you will continue to be more than a memory left behind. You may just be completely different from what you give yourself credit for. If you go deep enough, you can discover a very simple fact that you are greater than what is physically apparent.

You are a soul currently in an earthly body. God gave you that body for a purpose. He created you in His image, then He formed a body for you to be able to function on this earth. You possess a body, but you are not a body. You also possess a mind, but you are not just a mind either. Paul makes a distinction between the mind and the spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. The soul and the mind cannot be the same. A lawyer answers Jesus in Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” The lawyer is correct because he is quoting Deuteronomy 6:5. Here again is a given differentiation between soul and mind.

Let us start with a little fact: you are you. It all seems obvious and overly simple, but it is at least worth a little time to contemplate. You are you and there is nothing you can do about it. Existence itself is beyond your control. You did not choose your parents. You did not choose your place or time to exist. You did not choose to be you or even to be. And yet, here you are. You exist and you are stuck with you. You are someone, will always be someone and can never be someone else. You are eternally you.

We need to ask the question: what does it mean to be someone instead of something? There is a difference. Having those two words means we understand the distinction. Unlike a rock or a patch of ground you are fully aware. You think. A thing cannot do any of this. A thing is material only and functions in this physical plane and was never designed for anything beyond that. It is limited in purpose and limited in design. A someone has a soul. A soul has eternity for a future beyond this world. That eternity is determined by choices. Judas is someone. He had before him good and evil. He had the ability to know one from the other. He had to choose, just as we all have to choose. To say there is no difference between good or evil, or that the choice does not matter is, in fact, to choose evil. His choices and actions were his own and bear an eternal consequence. These have taken him to the worst possible existence. His eternity will be Hell and it will be reality unthinkable. No enemy could have done this to him. Only he could do it to himself. He became a person he could not imagine himself to be. His sins are forever tied to Judas. Judas is forever tied to himself.

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