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Author Topic: Did Judas Repent? (Matt 27:3)  (Read 11205 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 29, 2008, 08:51:29 AM »

Hristos Anesti! 

After searching the archives and not finding a specific answer to this, I would like to ask:

Did Judas repent? 

I have puzzled over this since the Gospel reading of Matthew 27, specifically verses 3-10.  "Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful...saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."

At first read it seems that Judas repented of his sin.  Yet in despair, took his own life.  I wonder what the Orthodox Church's teaching is on this?

Thank you in advance for all thoughtful replies.

Alithos Anesti!
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 09:27:08 AM »

The Eastern Orthodox Holy Week services contrast the repentance and restoration of Peter with the despair of Judas. I highly encourage you to take a look at them in depth, especially the Matins of Holy Thursday.
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 04:09:49 PM »

I've never understood the utter hatred towards Judas, myself. IMO, it would seem that he did repent for what he had done, even if he was wicked in many of his actions.

Guess the only way to know is when I get to talk to him myself. Heh.
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 04:39:35 PM »

I've had the same thoughts, myself. I wonder how anyone could truly know his motives or if he repented. And despair can be pretty hard to over-come. But, then, maybe the general attitude toward him is correct? I just don't know. 

Maybe we should pray for Judas. Its not too late is it? While we generally say prayers for the those who recentlly died, I've never actually heard of a time limit. Imput anyone?
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 04:40:05 PM »

I understand from the fathers and our Coptic prayers that Judas was a tragedy.  Remorseful is not repentance.  Remorseful can be a step to repentance, but it can also be a step to despair, feeling that you deserve not even to exist, giving up on life and on repentance.  Christ even said harsh words about Judas, that is it would have been better if he wasn't born.

In one of our commentaries of Holy Week in our Coptic services, we read from St. John Chrysostom that we should not grieve the betrayed and those who accept suffering, for Christ is now risen, ascended, and is sitting at the right hand of the Father and teaches us "Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness' sake, for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven," but the betrayer, for he has broken the law and is suffering in Hades.

God bless.
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 04:58:25 PM »

I don't think there's a general consensus on this situation, either. I've heard many priests talk about dead souls all being before God, but the state of their being is what they make of it (i.e. Heaven or Hell, which is has been discussed at length in another topic, yet nobody is specifically in Hades with Satan).

Furthermore, none of us can KNOW if Judas repented or not, and even if he could no do so on Earth, God may have very well have forgiven him after his death. I feel that we should always pray for all souls, no matter how wicked, as that is the only thing we can do in good conscience without passing judgment, and thus sinning.
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 06:47:48 PM »

The Eastern Orthodox Holy Week services contrast the repentance and restoration of Peter with the despair of Judas. I highly encourage you to take a look at them in depth, especially the Matins of Holy Thursday.

Thank you Deacon Anastasios.  It was the Matins of Holy Thursday that raised the question in the first place.  I guess I should have noted that in my post.  Forgive me.

I will endeavor to take a look at them again though.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 06:49:37 PM »

I understand from the fathers and our Coptic prayers that Judas was a tragedy.  Remorseful is not repentance.  Remorseful can be a step to repentance, but it can also be a step to despair, feeling that you deserve not even to exist, giving up on life and on repentance.

This, indeed, makes a lot of sense to me.  I am grateful that it is not my place to judge another.  Coming from the background that I do, and this being only my 3rd Pascha, I continue to learn and ask many questions.

I appreciate your input and that of the others.

faithfully, trudy
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 12:07:57 AM »

  Remorseful can be a step to repentance, but it can also be a step to despair, feeling that you deserve not even to exist, giving up on life and on repentance. 

Dispair is very closely akin to depression, but prehaps a bit more acute, whereas the latter is more chronic. And my, oh my, depression is a monster. I can't help but to pity any who succumb.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 12:41:00 AM »

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Judas in hell? Again there is the most ancient of traditions that Judas hung himself partly in despair but also out of a desire to meet Christ on the other side of death and ask His forgiveness. This is the teaching of Saint John Chrysostom and it is a generous and wonderful thought.

I know of the Scripture "not one of them have I lost except the son of perdition" but Saint John also knew this verse and he still felt able to teach that Judas had the hope of forgiveness and salvation after death.

Oops!  Someone has just said that this is not something from Saint John Chrysostom but from Origin.  Anybody able to help with any reference?
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 01:25:30 AM »

The answer is a resounding no because Judas focused more on himself than on God.

St. Peter asked for and received repentance because his heart after sin (like King David's in the Old Testament) focused on repentance and subsequent consequences.

Judas, while remorseful for what he did, neither asked for repentance and committed suicide because he was self-absorbed.  Judas' heart and soul spilled out due to his rebelliousness and faithlessness and Judas received his Final Judgment in Hades, which explains why Judas didn't rise from the dead with Cain and others who never heard Jesus' preaching in Hades.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 01:34:34 AM »

... which explains why Judas didn't rise from the dead with Cain and others who never heard Jesus' preaching in Hades.
Just curious...  Where'd you hear this teaching?  I've never seen nor heard this before.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Grin
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 01:37:09 AM »

The answer is a resounding no because Judas focused more on himself than on God.
*

Would you or anyone you know kill themselves on such a slight thing - a mere matter of "regret" or "remorse"?   "Hey, I've burnt the toast!"  Or " I killed the canary with too much flyspray!   I regret it and now plan to hang myself in the garage."

Judas' spiritual state obviously went much deeper than the superficial remorse that some here are ascribing to him.

When Christ descended into Hell and encountered Judas there, there is no proof that He refused to accept Judas' repentence.  There is no proof that He excluded Judas from His gracious act of redemption.

I look at the Christ who forgave Peter his triple denial and even assuaged Peter's grief in advance when He spoke to the women at the grave...."Go, and tell the disciples and Peter."  Notice the "and Peter."  This was the Saviour's wonderfully way of assuring Peter of His forgiveness and lifting the horror of his betrayal from his soul.  And then later He made the forgiveness quite concrete and returned Peter to the work of an Apostle with the triple "Lovest thou me..."

I believe that Christ the Saviour showed unto Judas the same forgiveness and compassion that He showed unto Peter... and to all of us.

We are not speaking of justifying Judas' perfidy, God forbid, but of the compassion of Christ for any soul which *repents* of its perfidy.  We are speaking of the power of Christ's redemptive work and the harrowing of Hell when He descended there after His crucifixion.



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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 01:47:28 AM »

The Judas Tree
by Ruth Etchells

In Hell there grew a Judas Tree
Where Judas hanged and died
Because he could not bear to see
His Master crucified

Our Lord descended into Hell
And found his Judas there
For ever hanging on the tree
Grown from his own despair

So Jesus cut his Judas down
And took him in his arms
'It was for this I came' he said
'And not to do you harm

My Father gave me twelve good men
And all of them I kept
Though one betrayed and one denied
Some fled and others slept

In three days' time I must return
To make the others glad
But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had

My tree will grow in place of yours
Its roots lie here as well
There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell'

So when we all condemn him
As of every traitor worst
Remember that of all his men
Our Lord forgave him first.


Now we may have varying opinions about the literary merit of this poem but there are four lines which leap out in theological terms...

But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had
....

There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell


We know that the Saviour descended to Hell and "harrowed" it. Did He harrow it completely, did He empty it completely?

Did He accept the repentance of Judas His apostle when He met him in Hell?  After all, He accepted the repentance of Peter who also betrayed Him. Was the death of Jesus also redemptive for a repentant Judas?

"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented..."
Matthew 27:3

Fr Ambrose

-oOo-
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 01:48:10 AM »

Just curious...  Where'd you hear this teaching?  I've never seen nor heard this before.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Grin

Thank You.   Cool

The icon of the Resurrection has the noble Abel and both Kings David and Solomon (who both sinned and Solomon apostasized by worshipping foreign gods before his death).  Since Abel was raised from the dead, logic would dictate that Cain was probably not raised from the dead because he focused on himself just like Judas did.  The righteous rose from the dead with Christ and I did not see any Holy Tradition or anything else to indicate that Cain rose from the dead.  That would mean that other evil people from the OT rose from the dead like Jezebel, all the corrupt kings of Israel, the Pharaohs of Egypt and so on....
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 01:54:06 AM »


Now we may have varying opinions about the literary merit of this poem but there are four lines which leap out in theological terms...

But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had
....

There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell


We know that the Saviour descended to Hell and "harrowed" it. Did He harrow it completely, did He empty it completely?

Did He accept the repentance of Judas His apostle when He met him in Hell?  After all, He accepted the repentance of Peter who also betrayed Him. Was the death of Jesus also redemptive for a repentant Judas?

-oOo-


Peter and the other Disciples died by martyrdom as the Lord himself predicted.  Suicide was not martyrdom.
Judas made a choice by killing himself and the consequences were Hell.  At worst, he could have lived like Cain in the Old Testament, unrepentant.
Sinners create their own hell (according to an interview given by Bishop Hilarion of Russia).  While Jesus emptied Hell of the Righteousness by raising them from the dead, the unrighteousness continue to make themselves at home.  The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus explains the gap which exists between a place for the Righteousness (e.g. Heaven) and everyone else (e.g. Hell).
 
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 01:58:11 AM »

Irish Hermit,

Thank you so much for your posts. That poem is truly beautiful.  Cry
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 02:01:04 AM »

Peter and the other Disciples died by martyrdom as the Lord himself predicted.  Suicide was not martyrdom.
Judas made a choice by killing himself and the consequences were Hell.
*
What does the Church teach about the hope of forgiveness for souls who have taken their own lives?

Read the third of the Kneeling Prayers for the holy Feast of Pentecost-Trinity.

We cannot say that the Saviour who has power over both the living and the dead lacks the power to forgive Judas.
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 02:05:04 AM »

Dear Fr. Ambrose,

I've had the impression that St. John Chrysostom still felt pity for Judas' tragedy, and that he continues to exist in Hades.  At least in our Coptic prayers, we include homilies of St. John Chrysostom during the Holy Week, and many times did St. John show forth Judas as a representation of what is evil and sad.

I would be most interested to see if there are quotes that would rather show the opposite

God bless.

PS  Matthew 27:3 gave a translation of "remorseful," not "repentance."  Perhaps those learned in Greek may better help us in this verse.
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 02:11:51 AM »

What does the Church teach about the hope of forgiveness for souls who have taken their own lives?

A soul who takes his/her own life has forsaken God.  A priest will not allow a funeral of a person who committed suicide unless proof of a mental illness can be provided by a psychiatrist or other medical professional.  Such "economia" is appropriate and would not deny a person an opportunity for forgiveness and/or salvation depending on how that person lived his/her life up to the point of suicide.

Read the third of the Kneeling Prayers for the holy Feast of Pentecost-Trinity.

We cannot say that the Saviour who has power over both the living and the dead lacks the power to forgive Judas.

If Judas was forgiven, why wasn't he brought back from the dead and joined with the other 11 Disciples?  A resurrected person has a spiritual body - did Judas deserve a spiritual body for betraying the Lord and repenting?  Jesus surely could have brought Judas back from the dead except that Judas consciously took his own life and could not deserve resurrection given that the other 11 Apostles haven't received the fulfillment of the Father (e.g. Pentecost).  So, here are 11 human men awaiting the fulfillment and here is Judas risen from the dead because he repented to the Lord while in Hades?
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 02:18:22 AM »

Thank You.   Cool

The icon of the Resurrection has the noble Abel and both Kings David and Solomon (who both sinned and Solomon apostasized by worshipping foreign gods before his death).
But I don't think it quite within our Tradition to draw such strong dogmatic conclusions from one single icon.  Icons present plenty of symbolism, but this is not necessarily to be seen as statements of historical fact.

Quote
Since Abel was raised from the dead, logic would dictate that Cain was probably not raised from the dead because he focused on himself just like Judas did.  The righteous rose from the dead with Christ and I did not see any Holy Tradition or anything else to indicate that Cain rose from the dead.
Neither do I know of any evidence that points to anyone specific among the righteous rising from the dead during Christ's crucifixion and descent into Hades.  The Bible only says that many bodies of the saints arose during the great earthquake caused by Christ's death; it doesn't specify whom by name.  Besides, I'm not aware of the Orthodox using logic as a foundation for articulation of doctrines except maybe as was absolutely necessary (e.g., the Ecumenical Councils).

Quote
That would mean that other evil people from the OT rose from the dead like Jezebel, all the corrupt kings of Israel, the Pharaohs of Egypt and so on....
Again, do we have any evidence that anyone specifically named among the saints rose from the dead during Christ's death, burial, and harrowing of Hades, other than maybe in the icon of the Harrowing of Hell (our main Resurrection icon), your interpretation of which I may have refuted above?
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2008, 02:21:08 AM »

A soul who takes his/her own life has forsaken God.  A priest will not allow a funeral of a person who committed suicide unless proof of a mental illness can be provided by a psychiatrist or other medical professional.  Such "economia" is appropriate and would not deny a person an opportunity for forgiveness and/or salvation depending on how that person lived his/her life up to the point of suicide.
*
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His divine omniscience, chose 12 Apostles.  Obviously He chose the 12  best men available for this task in Israel.  The fact that He chose Judas as one of His intimate disciples is a sign of Judas' spiritual stature in the Saviour's eyes.  So the fact that Judas betrayed Him is a sign of some aberration or mental illness, a sad lapse into sin, which overtook Judas temporarily.

Quote
If Judas was forgiven, why wasn't he brought back from the dead and joined with the other 11 Disciples?
No idea.  It's a speculative question, so any answers can only be speculative.
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2008, 02:21:45 AM »

If Judas was forgiven, why wasn't he brought back from the dead and joined with the other 11 Disciples?  A resurrected person has a spiritual body - did Judas deserve a spiritual body for betraying the Lord and repenting?  Jesus surely could have brought Judas back from the dead except that Judas consciously took his own life and could not deserve resurrection given that the other 11 Apostles haven't received the fulfillment of the Father (e.g. Pentecost).  So, here are 11 human men awaiting the fulfillment and here is Judas risen from the dead because he repented to the Lord while in Hades?
I think you're offering us a great deal of speculation that repentance while in Hades requires Jesus to raise the penitent from the dead, but is this not presuming to know the counsels of God?  Are you omniscient enough to do this?
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2008, 02:38:28 AM »

*
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His divine omniscience, chose 12 Apostles.  Obviously He chose the 12  best men available for this task in Israel.  The fact that He chose Judas as one of His intimate disciples is a sign of Judas' spiritual stature in the Saviour's eyes.  So the fact that Judas betrayed Him is a sign of some aberration or mental illness, a sad lapse into sin, which overtook Judas temporarily.

Scripture says that satan entered him. What exactly would that mean with respect to his repentance?
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2008, 02:49:47 AM »

Scripture says that satan entered him. What exactly would that mean with respect to his repentance?

No repentance is possible once Satan enters someone unless Judas expressed remorse and asked for repentance while he was still alive.  There are plenty of examples where repentance was granted (e.g. King David's Census where there were 3 days of death throughout the land) and examples where repentance was not granted (e.g. the earth swallowing the sons of Korah who defied God by burning incense because they weren't Levite priests).

Based on icons, Holy Tradition, etc. - Judas is in Hades suffering eternal torment.  If he repented internally, this wasn't shared with anyone else while Judas was still alive.  If someone had seen Cain risen from the dead, no one would remember that he killed Abel and received forgiveness from Christ while in Hades.

The saints who rose from the dead accepted Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies.  These saints arose with spiritual bodies and only lived no longer than a few years before dying a spiritual death rather than a physical one; these souls are already with the Holy Trinity in heaven....
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2008, 02:57:02 AM »

Scripture says that satan entered him. What exactly would that mean with respect to his repentance?
*
First of all, I do not subscribe to the idea that when Satan entered into Judas as the Scriptures say that Judas lost his free will to choose to sin or not to sin.  Judas always had the choice and he chose to betray Christ.  If that was the result of succumbing to a heavy assault by Satan then I would think that his subsequent repentance should be seen as a triumph for his eventual rejection of Satan's influence and power.
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2008, 02:57:52 AM »

I think you're offering us a great deal of speculation that repentance while in Hades requires Jesus to raise the penitent from the dead, but is this not presuming to know the counsels of God?  Are you omniscient enough to do this?

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.

Pontius Pilate killed himself a few years after the crucifixation of Christ.  His wife is a saint but not Pilate.
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2008, 03:07:41 AM »

*
If that was the result of succumbing to a heavy assault by Satan then I would think that his subsequent repentance should be seen as a triumph for his eventual rejection of Satan's influence and power.

That is along the lines of what I was thinking.

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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2008, 03:10:23 AM »

No repentance is possible once Satan enters someone unless Judas expressed remorse and asked for repentance while he was still alive. 
But this is not true.  Your attitude is too rigid and not appreciative enough of God's love and His desire for our salvation.

We have the example in Maccabees of God approving prayers and sacrifices for the dead soldiers who had been guilty of serious idolatry.  God shows us that He is willing to forgive this sin after death, even though those who had died had NOT sought forgiveness while still alive.

Please read the passage in Maccabees with careful attention.  

2 Maccabees, 12:40-46.

When Judas and his men came to take away for burial the bodies of their brethren who had fallen in the battle against Gorgias...

"they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain. Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden. And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten...And making a gathering, he [Judas] sent twelve drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection (for if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead), and because he considered that they who had fallen asleep in godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."
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« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2008, 03:15:41 AM »

Based on icons, Holy Tradition, etc. - Judas is in Hades suffering eternal torment.
Where in our icons do you see this?  Again please be careful about making statements of fact from specific details written in the symbolic language of our icons.

Where in our Holy Tradition do you see this?  Name specific Fathers who taught this.

Quote
If he repented internally, this wasn't shared with anyone else while Judas was still alive.  If someone had seen Cain risen from the dead, no one would remember that he killed Abel and received forgiveness from Christ while in Hades.
Pure speculation on both points.  Again, can you name any Fathers who taught these points?

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The saints who rose from the dead accepted Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies.  These saints arose with spiritual bodies and only lived no longer than a few years before dying a spiritual death rather than a physical one; these souls are already with the Holy Trinity in heaven....
Again, where do you get these ideas from Holy Tradition?
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« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2008, 03:16:39 AM »

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.

Pontius Pilate killed himself a few years after the crucifixation of Christ.  His wife is a saint but not Pilate.

There' no question that Judas committed an evil act and the Church is correct to remember him in the way she does. There is much to be learned about repentance and God's mercy from the comparisons between Judas and Peter. That being said none of us have a clue if Judas repented or not and I for one, and I believe the tradition of the Church backs me up on this one, am not willing to state anyone or anything is beyond the mercy of God, including Judas.


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« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2008, 03:21:50 AM »

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.
1.  Whose faith are you trusting?
2.  Who's trying to restore Judas's image?
3.  Why are you trying to place this discussion within the framework of a defense against "modernism"?
4.  Why is this even important to our salvation?

Quote
The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.
It is my understanding that no one has yet received his/her final judgment, because Christ has not yet returned in glory to judge the living and the dead.

Quote
Pontius Pilate killed himself a few years after the crucifixation of Christ.  His wife is a saint but not Pilate.
Historical citations please...
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2008, 03:30:59 AM »

4.  Why is this even important to our salvation?
It has no direct bearing on our salvation but the question is important because it says a lot about who we believe God is. Is He a God of love and mercy or a God of wrath guided by the necessity of divine justice? The Orthodox are rightly sceptical of Roman Catholic attempts to over-define exactly what happens after death, there are some things God had chosen to keep largely hidden from us. I just don't understand how someone can state with such confidence that they know Judas was never given an opportunity to repent and is certainly in hell.  Huh


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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2008, 03:36:42 AM »

I just don't understand how someone can state with such confidence that they know Judas was never given an opportunity to repent and is certainly in hell.  Huh

You are not alone in your lack of understanding of such a confident statment. Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2008, 03:37:49 AM »

You are not alone in your lack of understanding of such a confident statment. Smiley
Presumptuous, I've already said and will say again...
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« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2008, 03:42:20 AM »

Presumptuous, I've already said and will say again...

Indeed.
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« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2008, 05:01:39 AM »

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth. 
Just had an interesting thought!

Anybody ever asked their priest to serve a Memorial service for Judas?


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« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2008, 05:53:10 AM »

Just had an interesting thought!

Anybody ever asked their priest to serve a Memorial service for Judas?

Under the Jewish system weren't family obligated to pray for the dead for a year or so? Not that that answers your question. I haven't heard of anyone asking for a memorial service, but Frank Schaeffer said something on one of his videos about a monk who had dedicated much time praying for Judas. That seemed to upset certain protestants in the audience.
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« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2008, 07:56:36 AM »

Some random thoughts...

1. People as a whole, love to have someone to hate and despise.

2. Humans absolutely cannot be certain what has happened with anyone after their death. The only information regarding the topic we can trust with absolute certainty is that information that was provided by God.

3. We seem to be having difficulty being sure what information God has provided. (the concept "provided" can be defined in several ways, which makes a difference)

4.  Despair and depression are very, very overwhelming. Have you felt it's true weight? And that is with ordinary faults. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to face the realization that YOU were responsible for Jesus's death? Remember, all the Apostles were having a great deal of trouble understanding Jesus would return. They seemed to see his death as a rather permanent thing. I know Jesus kept telling them otherwise, but I don't think they really got it.

5. To repent rather requires the definite certainty that you can get forgiveness. As in faith and trust of God. Now, we modern Christians don't have too much problem with that. Mostly it is the whole Resurrection event that helps us to have the certainty that we can get forgiveness. But Judas didn't have all the information that we now have. And, Jesus had to work on the trust and faith points with the disciples more than once I think.

6. This is my biggest thought. There is always hope of forgiveness. Time has not come to a close, and even in the very last moment of all time, there is still hope. For, aren't we taught that God deeply loves each and every one of his creations? So, I would think he would be receptive to even the latest of pleas for mercy and feelings of repentance. I do not, cannot, believe that any being has "run out of chances". To be honest, I feel that there is even hope yet for the evil one, for he did at one point in his existence know and love God. Slim hope, but hope nonetheless.

These are my thoughts. make of them what you will.
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« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2008, 11:01:05 AM »

Man, oh man...to those entertaining the idea of Judas being redeemed...boy, would I love to see the look on your faces during attendance at a Coptic Orthodox Church for the Holy Thursday and Friday Eve Pascha Week services.

From the 'Homily of Our Holy Father Saint John Chrysostom' read after the Blessing of the Waters on Holy Thursday: "My beloved, on this day our Lord Christ was betrayed; if you then hear about His betrayal, do not be disappointed. Let me tell you about whom you should be disappointed. Lament and cry over he who gave Him up; I mean Judas. For He who was betrayed sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and reigns over all, an everlasting reign. As for he who gave Him up, he has descended into the depths of Hades, and there shall he remain unto the end in anticipation of great grief and lament."

From the exposition of the Sixth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "....On the third occasion [Christ] came to His disciples and said: 'Are you sleeping? Behold the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. Behold, my betrayer is at hand. Woe to you Judas, more than anyone else, for your sins have multiplied. You rejected Grace and loved damnation; it will be with you unto the age of ages.'"

From the exposition of the Ninth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "Woe to you Judas, for you...anathematized yourself, and so your share will be with the corrupt o wicked one."

We actually do a "procession of rebuke" on Holy Thursday as well whereby we proceed around the Church in reverse (i.e. right to left) walking backwards, and chant a hymn lamenting the betrayal of Christ and condemning/rebuking Judas.

A short sermon on the subject by Abouna Anthony Messeh: http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=8786162162171627271&q=coptic&ei=qtwZSMX0MojkqgPD4oTSBg&hl=en
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« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2008, 12:55:59 PM »

"And what is a merciful heart? It is the hearts burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. For this reason he continually offers up tearful prayer, even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth and for those who harm him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner he even prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns in his heart without measure in the likeness of God."
-St. Isaac of Nineveh, Homily 8

Judas, like Peter and each of us, have betrayed Christ at one point or another.  Rather than damn Judas to Hades, let us instead offer up prayer that he too may experience the deluge of Christ's bountiful mercy.
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2008, 01:17:40 PM »

I have to add that in my attempt to reconcile our practices in Church and what we do in spiritual practice today, that in our prayers, the mention of Judas represents a path we should avoid, which is why the name and mention of Judas always has a negative connotation.  Even implied by many who wish to see Judas as repentant is the idea that they're worried about Judas.  In spiritual practice, your worries are not without merit.  St. Isaac informs well that we should pray for all because of our love for all.  I can't forget the love St. Paul had for his own Jewish people that he was even willing to be condemned in Hades if they can be saved through Christ.  Obviously, the Jews represent a path that rejects the Messiah, something that even Paul could not fathom.
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« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2008, 03:23:08 PM »

Man, oh man...to those entertaining the idea of Judas being redeemed...boy, would I love to see the look on your faces during attendance at a Coptic Orthodox Church for the Holy Thursday and Friday Eve Pascha Week services.

From the 'Homily of Our Holy Father Saint John Chrysostom' read after the Blessing of the Waters on Holy Thursday: "My beloved, on this day our Lord Christ was betrayed; if you then hear about His betrayal, do not be disappointed. Let me tell you about whom you should be disappointed. Lament and cry over he who gave Him up; I mean Judas. For He who was betrayed sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and reigns over all, an everlasting reign. As for he who gave Him up, he has descended into the depths of Hades, and there shall he remain unto the end in anticipation of great grief and lament."

From the exposition of the Sixth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "....On the third occasion [Christ] came to His disciples and said: 'Are you sleeping? Behold the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. Behold, my betrayer is at hand. Woe to you Judas, more than anyone else, for your sins have multiplied. You rejected Grace and loved damnation; it will be with you unto the age of ages.'"

From the exposition of the Ninth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "Woe to you Judas, for you...anathematized yourself, and so your share will be with the corrupt o wicked one." 

We've got similar themes going on in our hymns:

From the Orthros of Holy Wed (chanted Holy Tues night, and repeated during the Wed Presanctified Liturgy):
"The harlot came to You, O Merciful Lord, pouring out on Your feet Myrrh, mixed with her tears, and was redeemed of her vices at Your command; but Your ungrateful Disciple, though he breathed Your grace, rejected it, and becoming mixed in he filthy mire4, he sells You in his greed.  O Christ, glory to Your Compassion."

From the same service, later on:
"O misery of Judas!  He saw the harlot kissing the feet, and with guile he meditated the kiss of betrayal.  She unloosed her tresses, and he bound himself with fur, bringing instead of myrrh, his foul wickedness; for envy knows not to appreciate even its own advantage.  O wretchedness of Judas!  From this, O God, deliver our souls."

We've got a few others that are more forceful in their language on other days.

Of course, if Judas had repented, Christ would have forgiven him - He had already forgiven those who has delivered Him up while He was on the Cross (asking the Father to forgive them in their ignorance).  He certainly did not repent while alive, and I'm unwilling to speculate as to his activity once dead.
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« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2008, 03:46:40 PM »

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.

One of the Optina elders said that the "secret" to happiness is to "want what God gives". I realize that doesn't necessarily answer the question, but it does shed some light on the subject.

Welcome to the forum SolEX01. Wink
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« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2008, 04:12:15 PM »

Of course, if Judas had repented, Christ would have forgiven him - He had already forgiven those who has delivered Him up while He was on the Cross (asking the Father to forgive them in their ignorance).  He certainly did not repent while alive, and I'm unwilling to speculate as to his activity once dead.

I've had all night and most of today to ponder this discussion and I believe that Jesus opened the gates of Paradise and the penitent Thief was the first to enter Paradise even though he neither betrayed Christ nor initially believed in Christ.  Such confusion and ambivalence has resulted in erratic dogmas like Purgatory.

Again, most of these posters sound like the doubting Thomas in that they don't believe that Judas went permanently to Hades as a final judged soul and as the "Son of Perdition."  The demand for evidence sounds just like the doubting Thomas....
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