*Note: I’m borrowing and building thoughts from this here post at Desiring God.
I’m not sure why it never occurred to me before that Peter and Judas were in pretty similar situations while Jesus was dying.
You see, they both betrayed Him, but we really only talk about Peter with tones of sad, forgiving humility and we really only talk about Judas with tragic hatred. No one takes the time to look at Judas and see a reflection our own betrayal of Christ, but I wonder if it isn’t important for us to look at Him a with a little more empathy… because, I think I’m more like Him than I am like Peter.
Peter betrayed Jesus and then went out and built the church. Judas betrayed Him and then hung himself.
Sadly, I think I’m more prone to the Judas path than the Peter one. Once I realize I’ve messed up, I set the self-destruct sequence and spiral into oblivion. And really, the difference between the two disciples is deceptive.
When I think about Peter, it seems like he’s a good guy who messed up, and when I think about Judas, it seems like he’s a bad guy who messed up, but neither of them was ever good, right? Peter, just messed up, knowing that Jesus was merciful and loving, and that the mess-up wasn’t the end; Jesus would be faithful to Peter, even if Peter wasn’t faithful to Jesus. I think Judas hung himself because he lacked that trust. No matter what happened to Jesus, Judas felt like he’d ruined everything beyond repair. He didn’t get that nothing is beyond repair for God.
Often, I also don’t get that and I’d rather destroy myself than throw myself at the mercy of someone I betrayed.