Tuesday, April 15, 2014


By Colleen O’Sullivan
The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, That I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.  Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back.  I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting… See, the Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong?  (Isaiah 50:4-6, 9a)
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”  They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.  (Matthew 26:14-16)
Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.
For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me.  (Psalm 51:4-5)
Betrayal.  We all know how it feels.  That first, horrified gasp of realization.  The hurt that gradually seeps into every nook and cranny of our being.  The humiliation.
Jesus endures so many betrayals.  Judas sells him out for 30 pieces of silver.  The sleeping disciples turn their backs on his anguish in the garden at Gethsemane.  Peter denies ever knowing him.  Once the Lord is in custody, his friends all flee.  You and I who gather at his table every week betray him time and again – whether out of fear, greed, anger, desire for power or any of a host of other motivations.
Yet Jesus never stops loving us.  He carries on, gently washing the feet of his disciples, including those of his betrayer Judas.  He shares an intimate last meal with his friends, knowing they will all fall away.  In his final moments on the Cross, he prays for forgiveness for us, saying we don’t know what we are doing.  He dies for us, offering us redemption and the promise of eternal life.
Consider the differences between Judas’ and Peter’s reactions when each one realizes the import of what they have done.  Judas throws in the towel and quits.  Peter weeps bitter tears of sorrow and repentance.  Jesus forgives Peter and even goes on to entrust his flock to Peter’s care. 

Jesus’ arms are always wide open, ready to embrace and forgive us when we are sincerely regretful and remorseful for our sins.  Try to spend some quiet time today reflecting on the moments when you have betrayed our Savior, and pray for forgiveness.  

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