How is Matthew 16: 24-26 applicable to Judas Iscariot, who was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ?
Matthew 16:24 - 26
ESV - 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
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Actions associated with Christ's betrayal had been foretold in the Old Testament in multiple passages such as Psalm 41:9, Psalm 55:12-14, Jeremiah 32:6-15, and Zechariah 11:12-13. Jesus Himself, in praying to God the Father just before His arrest, said that none of the apostles had been lost, "except for the son of perdition, that Scripture might be fulfilled" (John 17:12). Although someone had to betray Jesus to fulfill prophecy (and although Jesus had foreknowledge that Judas would be the betrayer), that did not negate any individual's power of choice (including Judas). Judas performed his actions of his own free will. In fact, by including Judas among the apostles, and by treating him with such a degree of equality that the apostles could not tell of whom Jesus was speaking at the Last Supper when He said that one of them would betray Him (Matthew 26:21-25), Jesus gave Judas every opportunity to repent of his intended betrayal. (As indicated in Matthew 26:50, even when Judas came with the arresting party, Jesus asked him, "Friend, why have you come?", giving him one last chance to change course.)
Although it was prophesied years earlier that Judas would betray Jesus, Judas may have truly loved Jesus until shortly before he decided to betray him. I'm not sure, but if anyone knows of any Bible verses that make it clear WHEN Judas turned his heart away from Jesus, please comment.
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