2004-04-09 - Judas
The Lenten Characters Series, Part 5
Matthew 27:1-4a Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor. Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."
Many of us distance ourselves from Judas. Even people who are not Biblically-literate know that to be called a "Judas" is a searing insult. After all, we wouldn't sell out Jesus. We wouldn't betray him like that. Or would we?
When a friend makes a joke about a person who is mentally challenged or doesn't dress fashionably, calls him a "dork" etc., do you laugh along? If so, you have betrayed Christ, for that person someone precious for whom He died on the Cross. If we make fun of or otherwise hurt these people, we are making fun of our Lord or hurting Him. (See Matthew 25:40.)
Are you using your gifts to serve other people? If not, you have betrayed Christ - for you have failed to fulfill His plan for you. Your abilities and traits are given to you for the purpose of building up His body. (See Romans 12:1-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.)
Are you doing your part to assist the poor, whether giving through your church (which can be a good way of ensuring accountability), working in a soup kitchen, giving cans to a food pantry or whatever? If not, you are betraying Christ, for He told us to help "the least of these." (See Proverbs 19:17.)
Do you try harder all the time, to obey Christ? If not, you are betraying Him. For our eternal salvation was bought at an immense price, through His suffering in our places - and He deserves our complete allegiance. Whatever one thinks of Mel Gibson, his movie has certainly led many people to better appreciate what Christ did for them.
Are you legalistic, judging people for infractions of rules that are not in the Bible? Do you insist that people only play certain kinds of music in church, in spite of the Biblical message (even though "Amazing Grace" and other now-traditional hymns were originally sung to bar tunes)? If so, you are betraying Christ (see Matthew 15:1-9).
At one time or another, we all betray our Lord, even the best of us. Ask God to reveal to you any ways that you are betraying Him, and to help you live more as He wants you to.
Comments or Questions,