Friday, April 22, 2011

Betraying Jesus

Matthew 26:14-16

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus 14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Jesus spent his whole life loving and caring and helping and serving. He loved his disciples especially, they were his closest friends, the one’s he spent extra time with, the one’s he told his secrets too. These were his friends he poured into more than anyone else while he was on earth.

Jesus’ message was love and repentance. He wanted all people to come know his father. He wanted everyone to discover their purpose in this live and use it for his father’s glory. Jesus cared about the prostitutes and forgave them. He cradled the sinners in his arms and healed them. He laid down his life for these very people.

Despite all of this, being one of Jesus’ chosen few, being loved and cared for, being set free from a life of bondage and sin—Judas still betrayed him.

All it took was 30 pieces of silver, and Judas was willing to lead people to the Jesus they wanted to crucify. 30 pieces of silver. What would it take for you to sell out Jesus? What would it take for you to sell out on your best friend?

Look back at Matthew 6:1-13 where the woman broke her alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, she did this to honor Jesus. She gave away her most valued possessions, and laid it at the feet of Jesus to honor him. This woman had her heart in the right spot. She realized that there was nothing more valuable than Jesus Christ himself. What’s the most important thing to you? Having a boyfriend? Knowing your life plans? Obeying your parents? Friends? Your cell phone?—Would you be willing to give up your most prized possession for Jesus? Or would you crucify him for a small sum?

Matthew 26:36-50

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be

sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings,

Rabbi!” and kissed him.

50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.”

Jesus was overwhelmed, troubled, and sorrowed. He knew his best friend was going to betray him. He knew everyone he loved was going to turn on him and send him to the cross. Yet even knowing this, he took the time to seek his father and pray. He prayed that God’s will would be done and not his.

Jesus had committed to do this a long time ago. He wasn’t backing out, he knew he was going to suffer a gruesome death and he knew that his closest friends would betray him long before this point. YET he still chose to come down to earth, live among us, suffer, be spit on, mocked, betrayed, and hurt, because he knew that by doing this all men would have a chance to know God. He knew that this was the father’s plan of love for all creation, and it had to be done. I think this is the epitome of John 15:13.

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

Jesus could have easily saved himself from letting this happen. He could have easily let the disciples who were with him cut Judas to pieces right then. Yet he said no, don’t fight. He still loved Judas, and he knew it was part of his father’s plan. Wow, what a friend. This is proof that Jesus was fully God and fully man. I don’t know anyone else on earth who could respond the way he did.

Does it hurt your heart to think that it was people like us that betrayed Jesus so badly? Jesus spent his life loving and healing and saving people back then, but he did that to benefit us here and now too. He died so we could live and have eternal life, yet we still betray him and spit in his face. We claim we don’t need his salvation, or if we’re Christians, we claim we don’t need his forgiveness or his loving relationship because we’ve already bought the “fire insurance.”

You know, we like to look down on Judas, we say he was a horrible person for what he did. We have a very negative connotation with his name that we only use for the worst of betrayers. Yet when you stop and think…how many times have you betrayed Jesus with your own sin? After all, aren’t you the very person who drove him to the cross in the first place?

(Matthew 27:1-10) The guilt and remorse Judas felt is not so distant of a feeling for us. We are not that much higher than Judas…in fact, we are on his level.

We’re all sinners. We all put him to death. Most of us mock him daily without even realizing it.

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

For the full story you can read Matthew, chapters 26-28. Or you can watch The Passion of The Christ movie by Mel Gibson.