Holy Wednesday was a quiet day for Jesus and most of his disciples. But not for all of his disciples. It seems that while Jesus and most of the gang were taking the day off Judas was at work. Tradition holds that it was today that Judas reached out to the Pharisees and Sadducees about turning Jesus over to them.
There are few names that have gone down in history that hold such disdain as Judas. In the great 14th century epic poet Dante’s Inferno Judas was found to be at the very center of Hell, enduring the worst of all punishment because he was the worst of all sinners. He was the betrayer.
I know all my life I have thought, ‘Glad it wasn’t me.’
But just recently I have come to think, ‘I may not have handed Jesus over to the authorities but is it right to say that I have never betrayed him, never abandoned him?’ Sure no one has paid me thirty pieces of silver, but surely there have been times when I have accepted credit for something God has done, or I have chosen to down play my faith in the company of strangers, or those hostile to faith. Also there have been times when I have spoken when I should have been silent, or silent when I should have spoken. There have been times that my behaviour has communicated something far different than ‘I am a Spirit empowered God forgiven person, who carries the message of Christ’s love and forgiveness.’ In short there have been times when be it with word or deed I have betrayed my calling as a follower of Christ. And I suspect that you can say the same thing.
I know what you are thinking, these kind of failures are not really the same thing as Judas’ betrayal. And your right it isn’t. But it is an action of a similar type. It shows that like Judas we don’t fully trust Jesus, it shows that we think we know better than Jesus, more importantly it shows that even after we have followed him closely we still struggle to follow his will instead of ours.
We still betray. But Jesus still forgives. When we fail Jesus offers his forgiveness.
Today as we take time to remember Holy Week let us remember this, ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’ Romans 3:23-24