October 8, 2007

Robert Murray McCheyne (1813–1843) on Christ's Love for Judas

Question: What could be Christ's reason for so often and so solemnly speaking of his betrayer?
Answer: I can see no other reason for it but that he might make one last effort to melt the heart of his betrayer.
Doctrine: Christ is earnestly seeking the salvation of those unconverted persons who sit down at his table.

There are two arguments running through the whole of this scene, by means of which Jesus tried to melt the betrayer. First, his perfect knowledge of him. As if he had said: I know that thou hast always been a thief and a traitor; I know that thou hast sold me for thirty pieces of silver; I know all thy plans and all thy crimes. In this way he tried to awaken the traitor - to make him feel himself a lost sinner. Second, his anxious love for him. As if he had said: I love thee, Judas; I have left the bosom of the Father just for lost sinners like thee; I pitied thee before the world was; I am quite willing still to be a Savior to thee. In this way he tried to win the traitor—to draw him to himself.
R. M. McCheyne, "Melting the Betrayer," in From the Preacher's Heart (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1993), 63. Originally published in 1846 with the title Additional Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne.


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