Lesson 12 | Sabbath, 19 March 2022
“Had Jesus remained silent, in apparent ignorance of that which was to come upon Him, an impression might have been left on the minds of His disciples that their Master had not divine foresight, and had been deceived, surprised and betrayed into the hands of a murderous mob. A year before, Jesus had told the disciples that He had chosen twelve, but that one was a devil; and now His words to Judas on the occasion of the passover, showing that this treachery was fully known to his Master, would strengthen the faith of His true followers during His humiliation. And when Judas should have come to his dreadful end, they would remember the woe which Jesus had pronounced upon the betrayer.” –The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, p. 87.
1. According to prophecy, by whom would God’s Anointed One be betrayed? In light of your own personal experience, meditate on what this betrayal meant and how terribly the Saviour suffered under it.
Psalms 41:9; 55:12-14 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me…. 55:12For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. 14We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
John 13:18, 21, 26 I speak not of you all: 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…. 21When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me…. 26Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
“The purpose of the Saviour in pronouncing the woe upon Judas was twofold: First, to give the false disciple a last opportunity to save himself from the betrayer’s doom; and, secondly, to give the disciples a crowning evidence of His Messiahship, in revealing the hidden purpose of Judas.” –The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, p . 87.
“And the Saviour had still another purpose. He had not withheld His ministry from him whom He knew to be a traitor. The disciples did not understand His words when He said at the feet washing, ‘Ye are not all clean,’ nor yet when at the table He declared, ‘He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me.’ John 13:11, 18. But afterward, when His meaning was made plain, they had something to consider as to the patience and mercy of God toward the most grievously erring.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 655.
THE TRAITOR’S FALL
2. What are the consequences of committing such cowardly acts as did Judas? What did prophecy state about the Redeemer’s betrayer?
Psalm 27:2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
John 18:3-6 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went back- ward, and fell to the ground.
Matthew 27:4, 5 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
Acts 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
“Little did the Jews realize the terrible responsibility involved in rejecting Christ…. From generation to generation there had been heaping up a terrible punishment for the rejecters of light and truth. This the enemies of Christ were now drawing down upon their own heads. The sin of the priests and rulers was greater than that of any preceding generation. By their rejection of the Saviour, they were making themselves responsible for the blood of all the righteous men slain from Abel to Christ. They were about to fill to overflowing their cup of iniquity. And soon it was to be poured upon their heads in retributive justice. Of this, Jesus warned them:…
“Judas … rushed from the hall exclaiming, It is too late! It is too late! He felt that he could not live to see Jesus crucified, and in despair went out and hanged himself.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 618, 619, 722.
3. After initiating the death of God’s Son, what would be the false disciple’s end? What is the result of sin if one does not repent?
Psalm 109:8, first part Let his days be few;…
Romans 6:23; 5:12 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord…. 5:12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
“God has given in His word decisive evidence that He will punish the transgressors of His law…. The death of the spotless Son of God testifies that ‘the wages of sin is death,’ that every violation of God’s law must receive its just retribution. Christ the sinless became sin for man. He bore the guilt of transgression, and the hiding of His Father’s face, until His heart was broken and His life crushed out. All this sacrifice was made that sinners might be redeemed. In no other way could man be freed from the penalty of sin. And every soul that refuses to become a partaker of the atonement provided at such a cost must bear in his own person the guilt and punishment of transgression.” –The Great Controversy, p. 540. “The gift of eternal life is promised on condition of saving faith in Christ. The drawing power of the Holy Spirit is pointed out as an agent in the work of man’s salvation. The rewards of the faithful, the punishment of the guilty, are all laid out in clear lines. The Bible contains the science of salvation for all those who will hear and do the words of Christ.” –Christian Education, p. 84.
TRANSFER OF THE SACRED OFFICE
4. According to prophecy, what would happen if a disciple betrayed his sacred office?
Psalm 109:8, second part … And let another take his office.
Matthew 25:28; 21:40, 41 Take there– fore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents….21:40When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
“Selfishness is a deadly evil. Self-love and careless indifference to the specific terms of agreement between God and man, the refusal to act as His faithful stewards, have brought upon them His curse, just as He declared would be the case. These souls have separated themselves from God; by precept and example they have led others to disregard God’s plain commandments, and He could not bestow His blessing upon them.” –Messages to Young People, p. 308.
“Thought, effort, talent, should be put into exercise, that you may be prepared to graduate into the school above and hear from the lips of One who has overcome all temptations in our behalf the words: ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.’… Revelation 3:21…. If you do not cooperate with the Lord by giving yourself to Him and doing His service you will be judged unfit to be a subject of His pure, heavenly kingdom.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 298.
5. How severe would the curse be for such betrayal?
Psalm 69:25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
Acts 1:18-20 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.
“For a short time vexation and confusion kept the priests silent. They did not wish the people to know that they had hired one of the professed followers of Jesus to betray Him into their hands. Their hunting Jesus like a thief and taking Him secretly, they wished to hide. But the confession of Judas, and his haggard, guilty appearance, exposed the priests before the multitude, showing that it was hatred that had caused them to take Jesus. As Judas loudly declared Jesus to be innocent, the priests replied,
‘What is that to us? see thou to that.’ They had Jesus in their power, and were determined to make sure of Him. Judas, overwhelmed with anguish, threw the money that he now despised at the feet of those who had hired him, and, in anguish and horror, went and hanged himself.” –Early Writings, p. 172.
6. How can one explain such horrifying actions in view of the fact that Jesus was totally innocent?
Psalm 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
“He [Pilate] had before him an example of the persistence with which they [the Jews] sought the life of One whom they hated without reason.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 737.
“The early Christians were … a continual reproof that disturbed the sinner’s peace. Though few in numbers, without wealth, position, or honorary titles, they were a terror to evildoers wherever their character and doctrines were known. Therefore they were hated by the wicked, even as Abel was hated by the ungodly Cain. For the same reason that Cain slew Abel, did those who sought to throw off the restraint of the Holy Spirit, put to death God’s people. It was for the same reason that the Jews rejected and crucified the Saviour–because the purity and holiness of His character was a constant rebuke to their selfishness and corruption. From the days of Christ until now His faithful disciples have excited the hatred and opposition of those who love and follow the ways of sin.” –The Great Controversy, p. 46.
REJECTED AND THEN ACCEPTED
7. Even though many have rejected Jesus as the true Messiah, in what exalted position did the Father place Him?
Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
“‘To them which stumble at the word, being disobedient,’ Christ is a rock of offense. But ‘the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.’ Like the rejected stone, Christ in His earthly mission had borne neglect and abuse. He was ‘despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:… He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.’ Isaiah 53:3. But the time was near when He would be glorified. By the resurrection from the dead He would be declared ‘the Son of God with power.’ Romans 1:4. At His second coming He would be revealed as Lord of heaven and earth. Those who were now about to crucify Him would recognize His greatness. Before the universe the rejected stone would become the head of the corner.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 600
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“Let us arouse! The battle is waging. Truth and error are nearing their final conflict. Let us march under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, and fight the good fight of faith, and win eternal honors; for the truth will triumph, and we may be more than conquerors through Him who has loved us. The precious hours of probation are closing. Let us make sure work for eternal life, that we may glorify our heavenly Father, and be the means of saving souls for whom Christ died.” –(Review and Herald, March 13, 1888) Christian Service, p. 77.
“Thus pleads the advocate of truth. Faithful among the faithless, loyal among the disloyal, he stands as God’s representative, and his voice is as a voice from heaven. There is no fear, no sadness, no discouragement in word or look. Strong in a consciousness of innocence, clothed in the panoply of truth, he rejoices that he is a son of God. His words are as a shout of victory above the roar of battle. He declares the cause to which he has devoted his life, to be the only cause that can never fail. Though he may perish, the gospel will not perish. God lives, and His truth will triumph.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 495.