12 Apr 2017

Passion Week: Day 3

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Day 3: Read Luke 22:1-6.

The gospel accounts do not record Jesus’ actions on Wednesday. We know that he taught before crowds and then retreated to rest, but know very little else. What we do know is that Judas strikes a deal to betray Jesus for a price.

Judas has always been misunderstood. Many imagine him, from the beginning, sneaking around the background of Jesus’ ministry, waiting for the perfect time to betray him. But in the beginning, Judas was committed to Jesus and his ministry. Judas listed to Jesus’ teaching, fellowshipped with the Master, and saw the signs and wonders. So what happened to Judas?

Simply put, Jesus wasn’t going to do what Judas thought he should do. Judas was a zealot, meaning that he was a militant. He thought that the Messiah would come and lead a military effort to free God’s people from Roman occupation. On Palm Sunday, Judas probably hoped that this was the beginning of Jesus’ call to military action (after all, Jesus entered Jerusalem proclaiming to be king).

But his hopes were quickly dashed. Judas finally realized that Jesus would never call his disciples to pick up weapons to fight. So, he became a traitor. He became a traitor because he didn’t agree with God’s plan.

The saddest part of Judas’ life is how it ended. When Jesus was sentenced to die on the cross, Judas realized what he had done. In his sorrow, he went out and hung himself. He never thought that forgiveness could be for him too. He didn’t realize that Jesus was going to die for traitors like him. The beauty of the gospel is that Jesus’ death is even for traitors.

  1. Before we became believers, we were traitors against God. In what ways were you living for yourself, and not for God?
  2. How is your forgiveness greater, knowing that you were once a traitor against God?
  3. Read Romans 8 and meditate on the fact that thought Jesus’ death and resurrection, your identity has been changed. Thank God that you’re no longer a traitor in God’s eyes, that he has made you a child, an heir, and a conqueror.

Prayer: God, in Judas’ betrayal, I see my own. In blindness of soul and hardness of heart, I turn my back on you, thinking I know better. One glance at the cross and I see my utter failure. Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen. (from Seeking God’s Face)

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