Listen:  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This is a very interesting question.  The Old Testament scriptures certainly spoke of one that would betray the Lord Jesus.  Psalms 41:9 speaks prophetically of the Lord’s betrayal.  That says, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”  The Lord Jesus quoted this verse to His disciples in John 13:18-19 where He said, “…I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.”  He used that very verse to show His disciples that He knew exactly what He was doing in choosing Judas.  The Apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, applied Psalm 41:9 to Judas as we read in Acts 1:16-17, “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.”

In the upper room, as the Lord sat with His disciples to partake of the Passover, He spoke of Judas’ upcoming betrayal.  Matthew 26:21-25 says, “And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.  The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.”  Not only did the Lord know that He would be betrayed, He knew that it was Judas that would betray Him.

Proverbs 27:6 gives us an idea of how Judas would betray the Lord.  That says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”  We read in Mark 14:43-44, “And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.”  It is sad that Judas used a kiss, a token of love, to betray the Lord Jesus into the hands of His enemies.

Although the Old Testament scriptures spoke of Judas’ betrayal, and the Lord knew that Judas was the one that would betray him, we cannot say that the Lord compelled Judas to perform this deed.  He had no heart for the Lord and was subject to the influence and indwelling of Satan.  First, let’s look at how Satan influenced Judas in John 13:2, “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.”  Now let’s look at how Judas was possessed of Satan in Luke 22:3-4, “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.”  After betraying the Lord into the hands of the chief priests, Judas felt terrible remorse.

We read in Matthew 27:3-4, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood…”  Notice carefully Judas’ language.  He did not confess to betraying the Son of God; he confessed to betraying an innocent man.  Although he had regrets for his betrayal, there is still no confession that Jesus is the Son of God.  Judas had worldly sorrow for his miserable deeds.  2 Corinthians 7:10 tells us, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”  There is no salvation from merely experiencing guilt over something we have done.  Judas was held accountable for his deeds.  He was held accountable for his lack of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Acts 1:25 tells us that, “…Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”  (91.1)