Much More Precious
By Pastor Graham Beed
This is about a story of two men who displayed two different types of personalities with an ending where one of them could have avoided how he concluded his life; and took an unswerving plunge into eternity.
Most of us know or have heard of these two men and would be aware of the situation that took place through the words of Matthew 26 & 27.
The two men involved were Judas Iscariot and the Apostle Peter. Both events occurred around the same time, at the time of Jesus crucifixion on the cross. Peter as we know denied Christ and Judas betrayed Christ with 30 pieces of silver being given to him by the Chief Priest.
What has intrigued me about the story surrounding Peter and Judas is the outcome that took place with both men. Was the sin in both men too difficult for God to forgive….the answer is a definite no. Why then did Judas hang himself and Peter went on to live a fairly long life?
The answer lies in the hearts of both men…..they both had traveled with Jesus, they had seen the miracles, they had witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus, both men had the same exposure to Jesus as the rest of the disciples, through the preaching of the word….in essence there was no advantage that one had over the other through their time with Jesus.
We see this scenario often in Christians’ lives where one believer will struggle with life’s problems and another will breeze through with a seemingly effortless flow.
Both Peter and Judas had the same opportunities to seek God and ask for God’s forgiveness. Judas was so full of remorse that he hung himself on a tree. Peter on the other hand sought God’s forgiveness and repented, then went on to serve God.
Repentance is a powerful tool in the Christian’s arsenal; this is was what held the key, not only for Peter but also for Judas, my belief is that Judas had the option to repent before he headed off to that tree.
Judas in hindsight would have had to prepare his own death by finding a rope or similar substance and then walk that long distance to where he eventually hung himself. His guilt was so strong that his time spent with the Lord had very little significance over what he was about to do; he had no strength or faith to seek forgiveness.
In Matthew 27:4 Judas said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” Here we see remorse coming, remorse is a good characteristic in life but most times it doesn’t help the circumstance and usually is associated with condemnation. What really needed to happen for Judas was to follow the example of Peter and ask for forgiveness, end of story.
Judas would have been forgiven and would have known the love of the Father; he would have continued in the fullness of the Holy Spirit following the day of Pentecost. If only Judas had waited and sought the Lord, his circumstances would have changed forever, but he removed himself and went and did the unthinkable?
In 1 Peter 1:6 & 7, Peter was able to say, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The Lord is such a loving God that the words of redemption ring in our ears through Hebrews 8:12 which says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
I hope this message brings some relief for those who are struggling and have been set free from those troubles that easily surround us.
May the Lord keep you and protect you.
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