“Then one of the twelve disciples—the one named Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him. 16 From then on Judas was looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them.“ Matthew 26.14-16
Most sources have it that Judas betrayed Jesus on holy Wednesday during this Holy Week. While Jesus was ministering to the least, the last and the lost, Judas was in the act of turning over his friend, mentor and rabbi. While Jesus was being anointed with oil by the “sinful” woman at the house of Simon (v.6-13), Judas was weighing his purse with the bounty from his betrayal of the Son of God.
It’s a dichotomy of a sorts — Judas and his greed, his sinful nature, his selfishness; and Jesus, his sacrifice to died upon a cross for the sins of the very one who would betray him. The gospel narrative could have not been written any better — we have a villain in Judas, a hero in Jesus, many innocent (and not so innocent) bystanders, and a plot that thickens with each passing betrayal.
Jesus’ final week on earth and his path to the cross could not only be interrupted by the sinful dealings of humanity, it was intended to be so. It was the very actions of humanity that caused Jesus to do what he did by becoming a human sacrifice for us.
We see many different movements during this Holy Week — Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Resurrection Sunday. But each day requires a moment of personal reflection, redirection of our passions, and refocus of our desires upon the Lord. Looking back on Jesus’ journey, we can’t help but feel responsible for his arrest, suffering and death.
The betrayal of Judas is indicative of our own betrayal to Jesus. Moments when we fail to love him, times when we cast him aside, periods in our life when we chose self over Jesus. For this, O Lord, we must repent.
But the good news in this story, is that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5.8).
Why not allow your heart and soul to be surrendered to Jesus today. Why not allow the God who rescued you from your sin to reign in your hearts on this Holy Wednesday?
“O Lord God, you are good. I praise your name. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to be swept up in your loving act of redemption. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill my spirit with your grace, help me know the power of the Cross and the significance of your death upon it. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen