It’s that time of year again. The spring season will be kicked off by Easter or Resurrection Day as some refer to it and I went to see a new movie about the life of Christ. There is nothing new there; millions of us seem to become more spiritual at this time of year as it is hailed the MOST HOLY season. It’s considered a holier time of year than Christmas for many. What was most poignant for me during this film was that my heart focused on something new. Like most people, I usually focus on Christs’ death and resurrection, but not this time. This time, in this film my thoughts fell to Judas… Yes, Judas. His role in the events leading to the death of Jesus had more significance than I originally imagined.
I thought about how vile Judas was to betray Jesus. I felt no sympathy for the tortured soul of Judas as the film progressed to the scene in which he hung himself. Nada…NONE! I think many people other than me have felt this way although they’d be reluctant to publicly admit that I bet. However, in my self-righteous indignation the Holy Ghost spoke to my heart. I was scolded by Him and it frightened me. He said “We all need the blessing of a Judas”. I was thinking to myself, the blessing of a WHAT! How could a Judas ever be a blessing? Judas wasn’t a cool person in my mind at all! Jesus loved him, mentored him, made him family and allowed him to be a part of the single most important event of the ages. He was able to be taught by the Master Rabbi himself, the Son of God. How does Judas after all Jesus allowed him to learn, see and experience return the love? He SELLS Him out for a pitiful amount of money. What kind of appreciation or love was shown in that action? Grace and acceptance was bestowed to him but he responded with blatant betrayal.
Thirty pieces of silver is worth today about nine hundred fifty dollars (according to the Professional Coin Grading service in 2014). In the time Judas lived in, thirty pieces of silver was a handsome sum. However, more than that, the Lord illustrated to me during this film that Judas was the catalyst that caused several things to happen. One of the first things to note about his actions was that it challenged the faithful. We all want an awesome testimony of what God has done in our lives; which is great. However, the only way to have one is to be presented with a test. Only a Judas or betrayer can administer one of the hardest tests we can take as a follower of Christ. When we are betrayed by someone we once believed was an ally, it will invoke us to action. It can propel us into a rage and seek revenge or it can take us to a place of extending grace to a fallen saint. The question I asked myself was, would I have stood strong in my faith if I was one of Jesus’ disciples or would I have renounced him? Would I have fled for my life? Or would I have lied about being an associate as Peter had? A Judas in our lives teaches us that we are not immune to fear or betrayal because we know Him.We are still beautifully flawed human beings.
It’s not a question of if it will happen; it’s a matter of when. When that time comes, how will you respond? The Judas in our lives will either drive us to the cross or drive us to retaliate out of our own deeply embedded fears. Could we react with the love and forgiveness of Christ or be overcome with vengeful actions toward our modern day Judas? Will we cast him off as I did without any ounce of compassion? The blessing of a Judas doesn’t illuminate how horrible the betrayer’s deed against us was; its purpose is to show us how far we are from the God we say we dutifully follow. A Judas in our lives is a blessing. He shows us the arms of flesh can fail us at any time when we least expect it from the person we’ve trusted the most. In contrast to his hurtful offenses, he is a constant reminder that we must continually place our hope and trust in God alone.
The question that I am now faced with is am I a Judas? Do I profess love for God but live a life that betrays him? The answer lies within my spirit and within anyone else who understands there is a blessing of a Judas.
Be encouraged and bless child of the HIGHEST God!