Let us say that the Gospel According to John is correct, and the other Gospels, too; but John especially, for that is where Judas Iscariot is most vilified. Let us remember what the Lord said, that did he not choose the twelve and one of them is a devil? Yet he did choose that one, too, the one who would hand him over to the authorities to be crucified. At the Last Supper, John writes that when the Lord picks out Judas as the one who would hand him over, that Satan enters him—and it would appear that Satan orchestrates the events that follow. Where Judas goes and collects his 30 pieces of silver and leads a contingent who will know which one Jesus is by a kiss of greeting. All well and good, Judas is evil and a betrayer, no?
But here’s the thing: after Judas finds out that Jesus will die due to his handing him over, he goes to the priests, throws back his 30 pieces of silver, and says he is guilty of an innocent man’s blood. Is it not plain, then? This is called both repenting and confessing his sin! Even if he had been evil, right up this point, this is where he turned it all around. Because we have someone now who repents and confesses his sin while Satan is still inside him. And at that point, knowing nothing but violence against an enemy, Satan torments him so severely that Judas hangs himself. Satan torments not he who is of the evil one’s house. With so severe a torment, in this case, that it would have seemed better not to have been born. This, Jesus foretold: that in the way of his own death, there would only be one who was lost, so that scripture would be fulfilled. For turning over the Son of God is sure to have its consequences.
And perhaps it is revealed when Jesus said about choosing twelve and one has a devil, what that was about. It was going in the opposite direction that Judas travels, from how everyone thinks he goes: not from apostle to betrayer, but from evil to good. The Lord chose someone wicked that he would, at his last, turn to good. It took the final act of handing his Savior over to ultimately find the light. Right on time, just before he himself goes into the next world. That the son of perdition is he no longer: that that is the miracle of the grace of Jesus Christ. We were lost, but now we are found. Were blind, but now we see.