I have heard the “Easter” story more times than I can count, and it still moves me but on this past Sunday as the scripture reading of Matthew 26 was being read I listened with the same reverence and feelings as it talks of the plot to kill Jesus, Jesus anointed at Bethany, Judas agreeing to betray, the last supper and the garden of Gethsemane and that’s where I heard it, after the soul crushing prayers of Jesus and the fact that the few men he brought into the garden couldn’t stay awake long enough to help their teacher/leader/master, friend/companion of about 3 years during his pain. Infact Jesus had to wake them up two times then on the third he finally said Matthew 26:44-46 ” Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going, Look, my betrayer is here!”
The “look my betrayer is here” is what got me in a different way, Jesus said my betrayer. He didn’t call Judas every name in the book instead he simple stated what Judas choose to do not who he was. Jesus said his betrayer not “the” betrayer. What a difference a word makes, it is showing that Jesus was betrayed the action not Judas is a betrayer, even out sided of church the name of Judas is known as the betrayer, but what Jesus called Judas was his friend! (a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection)
47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they and laid hands-on Jesus and took him.
Later on, we are told that Judas hangs himself, even after Jesus called him friend. Jesus would have forgiven Judas, but Judas couldn’t forgive himself.
Ooh isn’t that all of us though. We hang ourselves over the guilt of the mistakes we make. When all we have to do is accept the offer of forgiveness and begin living a life free from shame and guilt.
We all have that offer but not all take it, don’t you think it’s about time to live?
If you do want to live and live abundantly forgiven of your sins all you need to do is pray.
Jesus, I come to you right now as a sinner in need of you. I admit I can’t live this life without you and am need of you. I believe you are God’s son who died for me and rose from the grave to give me new life. Come into my heart right now and make me clean, I turn from my sins, I accept your gift of salvation. Lead me in my new life. Thank you for loving me. Amen
And, for those who have asked Jesus to come into our hearts then my question is why do we still live as if we aren’t loved and forgiven? I am including myself with this, we let our mistakes keep us hanging, instead of living the life God intended for us. Isn’t life too short for this? Let’s start living!