“When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. Now as they were eating, He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’ And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, ‘Lord, is I?’” (Matthew 26:20-22, NKJV)
It’s that time of the year when we hear, see and read so much about the final days of Jesus Christ walking and talking on this earth leading up to His death, burial, resurrection, and His ascension!
Thoughts on these events should not be reserved for one special time of the year, but should in fact be considered regularly with the deepest sense of gratitude for the wonderful gift of God’s Son!
But thoughts on these events ought to also be viewed regularly to remind us of the need we all have … the need to be forgiven for the sins that we all are guilty of!
As I have reflected so often on the conversations of the night before His betrayal, mock trials, public humiliation, etc. I have tried to get my thoughts around how He must have felt knowing that two of the twelve men who had been with Him throughout His earthly ministry would do what they were about to do!
The thought of being betrayed is not something any of us would want to dwell on for any length of time. If we have lived for any amount of time … the heartache of being betrayed … by someone … by anyone that we have put our trust in is a real challenge to overcome!
The truth of the matter is … sometimes we don’t get past it. A conversation that was intended to be confidential is broadcast to whoever will listen! A promise made is broken as if it never actually meant anything to the promiser!
The name “Judas” will never make the most popular list of names parents name their son by! For someone to be called a Judas is anything but a compliment! The name Judas is synonymous with one who has turned their back on or betrayed another who was a friend, relative, or a trusted ally or cohort.
The details of the arrangements Judas made with the Jewish leaders are relayed in the Gospels and are worthy of our reading from time to time for any number of reasons. But regardless of why Judas chose to betray Jesus by his own free will … he will always be remembered as the one who “betrayed the Son of Man” (Matthew 26:24).
One of the so many considerations about this whole series of events is that when Jesus tells them what’s about to happen … that each of them began to ask the Lord, “Is it I, Lord?”
Judas, like the other Eleven, received a great opportunity to make a real difference in a world that needed difference-makers! He made one bad choice to be followed by another leading ultimately to his “going out into the night and hanging himself!”
We have a great opportunity to make a real difference in a world that is desperately in need of difference-makers for good! How will we handle that opportunity?
If we choose to follow Jesus then we need to be willing to follow Him diligently and whole-heartedly wherever that following Him leads us! To be ready for taking those steps that lay ahead in faith, we need to be praying for open minds, receptive hearts.
Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President once said, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
The times we are presently living in are dark and dangerous with enemies of truth lurking in the shadows and they are becoming more bodacious to propagate their evil and immoral desires thru every venue!
The question each of us must address is this: How will I live? Don’t be a Judas! Live the remaining days of your life fully and completely devoted to serving and honoring Jesus Christ! It is He alone who is the Son of God!
Be everything He wants you to do and be in your life! A life that refuses to betray Him and one that refuses to turn your back on Him … anytime! We must not let anything or anyone keep us from our honest and wholehearted commitment to the Lord.
So, whether you have been a member of the Lord’s body for many years or are one that is young in the faith, make sure you are sincere in what you believe and know why you believe it. God’s grace, His mercy can save even the vilest of sinners … but only when we choose to repent of our sins and trust Christ alone as our Lord, Savior, and King!
We must never overestimate our own faith … and we must never underestimate the persistence, creativity, and sheer evil intent on the part of Satan to destroy our souls!
“So let the man who feels sure of his standing today be careful that he does not fall tomorrow.” (1 Corinthians 10:12; Philips N.T)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.