It was late one Sunday night, and it was the last telephone call I was going to take on my Sunday night talkback radio program. The caller began by asking “Is there a sin too big for God to forgive?” Over the next half an hour we unpacked why the question.
She indicated her son had just committed suicide after a silly argument between the two of them. Understandably she was totally distraught (by the way this call resulted in other people contacting me outlining the same situation).
One of the things that stood out to me was the comfort she took that in the death and resurrection of Jesus no sin is too big to forgive. He took it all!
Ethically what about Judas? Luke 22 tells us that Judas betrayed Jesus for cash. Why did he do it? We can ponder all our ethical theories, like maybe he did this because he thought it would produce the best outcomes for himself. Or perhaps he was more honourable and believed in part this would produce the best consequences for everyone.
These were nerve-racking times for the Jesus followers, as well as the community. Personally, I believe we cannot avoid the verse that declares “Satan entered Judas” and an evil act took place.
But then we come to the last supper. The passage explains the preparations for the Passover and the Passover Lamb to be sacrificed. This directly follows the Judas betrayal account. Is that intentional by Luke? On repentance would Judas be covered by the Passover Lamb?
I struggle with the question “Is there a sin too big for God to forgive?” What about the tyrants of history? We need to be firm about consequences from evil acts.
However, as we approach this Easter, we come with the mindset that we can say to all who come openly to the Cross and the resurrection, “let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your unfailing love” (Psalm 31:16). The Passover Lamb conquers all!
Rev Dr Ross Clifford AM is the Principal of Morling College (NSW Baptist) and author of numerous books many of which focus on Christian Apologetics. He is a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance, President of the Asian Baptist Association, an acclaimed international preacher and speaker, a columnist in many Christian publications, winner of many national and international awards and for many years the Sunday evening Sydney Radio 2CH host. Ross is married to Bev, father and grand father.