Sunday, March 23, 2008

#3- Judas' Easter: The true enemy of God is Evil itself.

(7 Posts on 'The Easter Judas had to have'. The text is Luke 22:3-23.)

What is it about Judas?

The text tells us that Satan entered Judas: V3
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them.
Like you, I have a lot of questions about this verse. There are many who are troubled over a verse like this. But at least this much is being said: Judas represents all that is wrong with the universe.

The true enemy of God is not any one person (it was not Judas acting alone). The true enemy of God is not the government. The true enemy of God is not Egypt (it was the time for Passover) or Rome. The true enemy of God is Satan himself. Evil itself. And at this point in the Gospel, St Luke is making that clear to us.

It was Satan acting against Jesus.

Satan is present in the Garden of Eden, seeking whom he may devour; and evil enters the Upper Room on that Passover Day, intent on the life of Jesus. It is Satan who means ill. It is Satan who seeks to destroy all that is good and of God. It is Satan who seeks God's destruction.

And the Scriptures make clear that you and I are both victims and agents of that evil. We, too, are 'in Adam'.

We need a Savior...

4 More posts...

Pic on Flickr by EcoSnake.


Eun said...

This sounds like pretty fascinating stuff; although it does make me wonder about issues like why Satan was allowed in the garden in the first place. Other than that, hope the Gettysburg Address went well and thanks again for the Romans Qs!

Justin said...

Yeah. Will we ever know the answer to that? Not sure about Satan, but the text tells us that the serpent was there cos God made him! Gen 3:1.

Mimi said...

I got the same question from a confused/defiant Catholic. He asked me, "So who created the Serpent?" Thank you for the Scripture reference because I will use it the next time. But then the next question is why... would you say the Serpent went astray just like Adam & Eve?

Christopher said...

I find the whole "Satan entering" things/people creates big problems for human agency, responsibility and the justice of God's judgement.

What do you think "Satan entered him" means? Is it a literal possession or something more along the lines of influenced or that Judas's heart was set on the things of Satan?

Also, if Satan was in Judas, was he not also in Peter i.e. get behind me Satan?

Sorry for all the questions, but I am sure you are up to the challenge of giving me conclusive answers with scriptural references :)

Justin said...

Mimi -- Great Question. I really am not sure. The Scriptures say that the Serpent was 'crafty'. The origins of evil are hard.

Christopher -- I've started to have a shot at answering the question in the current posts. I certainly do not think its possession -- as in puppet. I think that Judas is culpable for his betrayal.

I do wonder if we see -- even today -- people overrun by evil. That is, people are responsible for what they do, and yet the extent of their crimes suggests something deeper going on. For me, it helps to explain things like Genocide. Haven't you ever wondered how very ordinary people can do unusually horrific things. Maybe Judas helps.

Hannah Arendt said something like this about Adolf Eichmann ('Banality of Evil' etc).

And M. Scott Peck made this case in 'People of the Lie'.

It actually becomes a way to help explain things, rather than have them left confused.


Andrew Barry said...

Great posts! I'm waiting for the remaining few with eager anticipation. I'm not sure if you're going to deal with this one: but how does Judas compare with Peter? Both had Satan at work; both ashamed; both felt remorse; and yet one was re-instated and one struck off the books.

Anonymous said...

There is great tension between human agency and Satan's agency.

To paraphrase Kevin Spacey in the Usual Suspects, Satan's best trick was convincing people he didnt exist and from Fritz's early udnerstanding, Satan is essentially taught as the allegorical metaphor or collective evil...Barna polls of clergy and lay alike shows a diminishing trend in the belief there is a real being called Satan.

Now has come our Salvation...the Kingdom and Power of God...the Dragon, the accuser of the brethren, is defeated by the word and the blood of the Lamb.

"For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle."