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"With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field, there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out." NIV translation
At first glance, this may seem like a harsh and gory passage from the Bible and it does paint a pretty ugly picture. For us, as Christians, it should also help us through the difficult times of persecution. You see, God is in control and in the end everyone has to answer for their own actions. If you are a Christian, you are God's child and he will take care of you even better than a mother takes care of her baby. Jesus paid the penalty for your sins. If you do not know Jesus, there is a time coming where, just like Judas, you will have to answer for your own actions. The time for mercy and grace will have passed then you will be on your own. Do you know Jesus? If you know him, are you willing to wait for him to take care of those that persecute you?
"Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)" NIV translation
This verse reminds me that my actions have an impact on many people. In this situation, Judas thought that he had made a secret deal to turn Jesus over to the authorities. In the end, "Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this".
This verse hopefully inspires us to guard our actions because those things that we may think are secrets will in the end be exposed. Thank God that, through Jesus Christ, I don't have to pay for my sins the way that Judas did.
""For," said Peter, " it is written in the book of Psalms, May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it, and, May another take his place of leadership."" NIV translation
Here, Peter is quoting from the book of Psalms. The Psalms that Peter are quoting are prayers to God from David. David is praying that God will repay those who persecute him.
Have you ever felt that way? I know that I have but, during those times, I have to be reminded that Jesus came for my persecutor just as he came for me.
"Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us," NIV translation
Peter is still talking to the early church here. He is saying that Judas, as an apostle, must be replaced. He is also saying that it can't be just anyone that assumes the position of Apostle. Today, just as in the early church, there are many Christian leaders that get caught up in titles. You see them call themselves everything from prophet to evangelist to apostle. Peter is telling us here that an apostle is not just someone that knows Christ but that it is someone that actually was there when Jesus walked the earth.
I personally believe that, if the church would get over all the titles and rules that men have come up with, the Church, as a whole, would be a lot better off. There is only one title we really need and that is Christian. The simple test for that title is do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?