“Friend, why have you come?” Of all the things to say to a man like Judas Iscariot. Was Jesus oblivious to what was going on?
Obviously not. Jesus was giving Judas one last opportunity to repent. It was the grace of God on display.
This reminds us that God takes no delight in the death of the wicked (see Ezekiel 33:11). Sometimes we wonder whether God would hear the prayer of someone who, in the last few minutes of their life, calls out to God. Would God answer and forgive them?
Absolutely. That is what the Bible teaches. At the crucifixion, the criminal on the cross turned to Jesus and said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42 NKJV).
Jesus told him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (verse 43 NKJV).
This gives some comfort to those of us who have lost loved ones or friends who we’re not sure were Christians. Maybe we shared the gospel with them or they went to church with us, but we don’t think they ever made a commitment to Christ.
However, we don’t know what happened in the last few moments of their lives on earth. God is gracious and merciful, and if someone calls on Him, even in their last moments, He will hear their prayer.
The important thing is that we did our part to lead others to God. We sowed the seeds of the gospel in their lives. We prayed for them. And maybe the person we think has been lost forever will greet us when we get to Heaven one day because in the last moments of their life they told Jesus, “Lord Jesus, would you receive a wicked sinner like me?”
Isn’t it great to know that we’re serving a God who would forgive in such a way?
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