The Invitation - Day 29

Luke 22: 1-6

“The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction.

Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever been betrayed by someone you love, but I believe it’s one of the most painful experiences a person can experience.  Maybe a spouse cheated on you, or a friend broke your trust and shared something with another that was supposed to be kept confidential, or a family member stole money from you.  Betrayal hurts.

And I know Judas Iscariot always gets a bad rap for what happened on this night, but from his perspective, he was forcing Jesus’ hand.  Judas believed Jesus was the Messiah, the new king of Israel; he just got the details wrong.  Jesus hadn’t come to be a warrior king who would overthrow the Romans and put the Israelites back on top. No. Jesus came to establish his kingdom here on earth as it was in heaven.  Jesus would have to die to do that, but that wouldn’t be the end of the story, for in three days, he would rise again.

Judas had heard him repeat this repeatedly, but he couldn’t accept it.  He wanted a warrior, and every time Jesus forgave an enemy, especially a Roman, it upset Judas more and more.  And every time Jesus had the chance to show the Romans his power but didn’t, Judas got more and more bitter.

So after Jesus came into town on a donkey and flipped the tables in the temple, Judas thought that now was his time.  Now, Jesus would take his throne by force, and Judas was willing to die to help make that happen.

So, by turning Jesus in, all Judas thought he was doing was forcing Jesus to show his power.  Little did Judas know at the time that his betrayal would lead Jesus to the end that he came to this earth to have, the end of dying on the cross so that all could be saved.

Jesus still gets betrayed today, especially by those of us who should know better.  I betray Jesus every time I choose sin over him.  I betray Jesus every time I take back control over my life and tell him that he’s not needed.  But thankfully, Jesus’ well of grace and forgiveness never dries up.

Through the disciple John, we are told, ”But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.“ 1 John 1:9 NLT

And Paul told us, ”For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.“ Romans 3:23-24 NLT

We’ve all betrayed him in one way or another, yet his grace and forgiveness are also available to us all.  Let us have the strength and courage to admit our sins and ask forgiveness so that we may find freedom in his love.

  1. Questions to consider:
  2. Have you ever betrayed someone? What did it feel like?
  3. Did someone ever betray you?  What did that feel like?
  4. What sins do we need to confess to Jesus, the One who died, to set us free from those same sins?
  5. PRAY TOGETHER - We are told to confess our sins to one another, so confession is both a private and a public spiritual discipline.  Sharing our secrets takes the weight off of us and onto Jesus, who removes that sin from us as far as the East is from the West.  So share, confess, and pray to receive God’s forgiveness and grace.

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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