Was Judas forgiven?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Was Judas Iscariot forgiven of betraying Jesus Christ? That is, did Judas die as a saved individual? The final moments of Judas’ life are recorded in Matthew 27:3-10 and Acts 1:16-20, and we need to look at those passages in order to answer these questions.

In Matthew 27:3-10, we read: “[3] 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, [4] Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. [5] And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. [6] And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. [7] And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. [8] Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. [9] Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; [10] And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.”

Verses 3 and 4 say, “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.” Based on these verses, it would seem like Judas became a saved man, a Messianic Jew, after Jesus’ arrest, would it not? After all, Judas did confess, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” Judas admitted Jesus was the only innocent Man who ever existed, and he returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. When they refused the money, Judas threw it down in the Temple, and then went out and hanged himself. However, the Bible is silent about Judas approaching any of the other apostles, or even Jesus, seeking forgiveness. The Bible does not say Judas prayed for forgiveness. Furthermore, if Judas was forgiven, I do not think he would have committed suicide.

In Acts 1:16-20, we read about Judas’ final moments as told by the Apostle Peter: “[16] 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. [17] For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. [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. [19] And 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. [20] For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.”

As a side-note, the apparent contradiction between Peter and Matthew’s account can be reconciled in the following manner: after Judas hung himself (Matthew 27:5), Jesus died and then there was an earthquake (verse 51), and this earthquake caused Judas’ corpse (which was still hanging evidently) to violently fall headfirst to the ground, and his body was so badly mangled that his insides spilled out. Again, if Judas was a man forgiven of that sin of betraying Jesus, I do not think he would have hanged himself.

Peter continues in Acts 1:25, referring to Judas’ replacement, “That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” This verse says that Judas went to “his own place” after he died, which does not sound good. Personally, I believe Jesus Christ, in John 17, identified this place.

Just moments before He was betrayed by Judas and arrested, the Lord Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Father, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12). Obviously, Jesus is referring to Judas Iscariot, whom He calls “the son of perdition [damnation].” The Apostle Paul referred to the antichrist, the coming satanic world ruler, as “the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). According to the Bible, Judas and the antichrist are the two individuals who are most profitable in furthering Satan’s policy of evil, than any two other people in history. It does not sound Judas was a saved individual.

Jesus Christ could have certainly forgiven Judas, even of that betrayal of Him, since He forgave the Apostle Peter of denying Him three times (John 21:15-17). However, it does not seem like Judas was interested in being forgiven (the Bible does not say he prayed for forgiveness, or that he approached Jesus or the apostles hoping to make things right, et cetera). On the basis of these verses and facts, it does not seem like Judas died with a right standing before God, it does not seem like Judas had eternal life, and it is more than likely that Judas is still consigned to everlasting hellfire today.

Also see:
» Is not hell only reserved for “bad” people?
» Why does Israel have 12 apostles?
» Exactly what is Satan’s “policy of evil?”