As I have been preaching through 2 Samuel, I have pointed to what I regarded as a reverse type of Christ, which was the death of Absalom. You have two sons of David, one faithless and the other faithful (thus “reverse”), but who both died hanging on a tree, both pierced by a soldier, and who by their deaths provided deliverance for Israel. This brought me into a discussion with a parishioner who didn’t quite see it that way. He allowed that Absalom could have been a type of Judas, but not Jesus.
I mention this, not to continue that discussion, although it is a worthy subject, but rather because that stray comment made me think of something that had never occurred to me before, which is the stark parallel/contrast between Judas and Jesus.
Begin with the fact that Judas is simply the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name Judah, and we can note Jesus was descended from the tribe of Judas. He was born in Bethlehem, which was in the land of Judas (Matt. 2:6). Jesus was “of Judas” in some sense.
But the most striking thing is that both Jesus and Judas were hanging from trees where each of them died, and it was at around the same time. Jesus was pierced and blood and water came out (John 19:34). Judas was disemboweled, either through the violence of his hanging or because his body was not discovered right away, bloated, and then burst open (Acts 1:18). But the way the story is told makes it seem like Judas hanged himself before the Lord was crucified — which makes it likely that the two men, under completely different kinds of curses, were hanging on Jerusalem trees at the same time. Depending on where Akeldama and the original Golgotha were, one location may even have been visible to the other.
Jesus was valued at 30 pieces of silver, the sum Judas took for the betrayal (Zech. 11:12; Matt. 26:15). But right before Judas died, there was another “transaction” involving that same thirty pieces of silver. He threw the money down in the Temple, and even though they did not formally “take” it, they did use it to buy Akeldama, the field of blood. Judas took the money and Jesus was condemned. The chief priests and elders “took” the money, and Judas was condemned.
Satan had entered into Judas so that when Judas died you have a similar circumstance as when Legion entered into all the pigs right before the pigs died. At the cross of Jesus, Satan was doing the taunting and crucifying. When Judas was hanged, the parasite Satan destroyed the host, Judas.
In Judas, you had sin devouring. In Jesus, you had sin devoured. In Judas, you had death followed by death. In Jesus, you had death followed by resurrection. In the Law, there were two scapegoats. One was sacrificed before the Lord, and the other was driven in the wilderness (Lev. 16:6-10).
I don’t want to be dogmatic about this, but it is suggestive.