Act 1:15-18 “And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”
The disciples had returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives after seeing Jesus’ ascension. They were together in an upper room, where they prayed and worshiped together with a singleness of purpose and thought. It had only been about a month and a half since Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Certainly, the disciples had been on an emotional roller coaster for days.
One can only imagine all the conversations that took place in that upper room. Surely, they must have talked about all the things that Jesus had said and done while living among them. It is likely that some remembered things He had told them that they did not really understand at the time. They obviously had time to consider the scriptures together and gain some insights, by God’s grace.
Among those scriptures was the writing of David in the Psalms. As we will see in some later verses, Peter’s mind had been stirred to consider what David was writing about in Psalm 69:25 when he said, “Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents,” and also in Psalm 109:8 where David wrote “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” Peter began to see these scriptures as pertaining to Judas Iscariot. This would be a weighty revelation to Peter and the other disciples.
This writing is not about the debate over whether Judas was or was not a child of God. The focus here is that it was necessary for the words of David in the Psalms to be fulfilled. Judas’ action in betraying Jesus was not happenstance. It was a prophecy that must happen.
Likewise, Judas’ losing his place among the apostles was a prophecy that must be fulfilled. Nothing in the life of Jesus, His death, His resurrection, or His ascension was coincidental. Jesus told John the Baptist when He came to him for baptism that it behooved them to fulfill all righteousness. In other words, everything that the scriptures had ever said about Jesus and His life had to happen that way.
Furthermore, Peter made plain here that the Holy Ghost was not some new thing that was coming. While they had not yet received the power of God’s promise of the coming of the Holy Ghost as Comforter, the Holy Ghost was not some new entity, but was, always had been, and always will be God. David spoke concerning Judas’ betrayal by the power of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost was the moving force behind all the records of the scriptures (1 Pet 1:21).
May we always be aware that, as God is the Author of His holy word, everything must happen according to His teaching!