Did Judas have free will?What a question and albeit a difficult one!
I am of the opinion that Judas had free will and at the same time he was the one predestined to betray Jesus. Huh!? Judas could've chosen not to go on with the betrayal but God knew what was in heart and God just knew that Judas cannot withstand such pressure from Satan. Remember that God is all-knowing. Plus He allowed this for a greater purpose.
I also think that Judas did not merely betray Jesus because of the 30 pieces of silver. I think the bigger motivation was his disappointment that Jesus did not fit the mold of the idea of the majority of Jews of what a messiah should be. This was an ideology and it is stronger than any financial gain.
Actually this question gives birth to two more interesting questions.
1. If Judas repented of his sins and accepted Jesus as Lord, and did not commit suicide, would he have been forgiven and be with Christ as well in Heaven?
The answer is YES! Judas after such a mistake could have repented and ask God for forgiveness. Throughout biblical history we saw this in the great heroes of faith like Moses, David and even the prostitute Rahab! Remember as well that Jesus' death and resurrection is for all sinners who will admit their sins, repent and accept Christ into their lives.
2. Is Judas really the main culrpit in Jesus' death? You can also include here the Sanhedrin as well right?
This was the root of the controversy in movie the "Passion of the Christ" right? That Jews are being depicted as killers of God.
If you watched the Passion movie and got angry at Jews and the multitudes who were crying for blood then you got it all wrong! Jesus died for your sins, my sins and the sins of the whole world! So it wrong to say that Judas or the Sanhedrin or Pilate killed Jesus. Mel Gibson symbolized it well when he used his hand as the hand which hammered the nail on Jesus' hands. We (all of us) were the ones who crucified Christ not just Judas, the Sanhedrin or Pilate or the Roman soldiers.
Now should you hate yourself because Jesus died due to your sins? No! Jesus did not come here to condemn. He was not angry at us. He knows we cannot solve this on our own. That is the reason He came for us because He loves us and wants us to be with him in His Kingdom forever.
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