Always Forgiven

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”
From Matthew 26:14-25

Years ago, I referred to this as Spy Wednesday. As a child, I was taught that Judas struck a deal with the high priests and arranged his betrayal on the Wednesday before Passover. The timing is not as important as the deed itself. Betrayal at any level stings. When it comes at the hands of a trusted colleague, friend or family member, betrayal cuts us to the core. Perhaps the only good that comes from these experiences is the light they shed upon Jesus’ capacity to love and to forgive…

Jesus and Judas walked together for three years. Jesus shared his most important teachings and his most intimate feelings with Judas and the others. The weeks leading to Passover proved to be extremely difficult as sentiment in the Temple had turned completely against Jesus. The scribes’ and Pharisees’ treachery certainly angered and frightened Judas. Judas likely warned Jesus that the tables were turning against him. Eventually, Judas realized Jesus’ intent to follow through with his plans. Rather than comforting his friend and perhaps doing something to help him, Judas did what was necessary to save himself. Judas sealed this arrangement with a kiss. In the end, Judas regretted what he had done and he hanged himself. Though Judas did not wait long enough to seek forgiveness, I am certain Jesus offered it when he hanged from that cross the following day.

Merciful God, you understood Judas’ motives and fear even more than he did. You know each of us better than we know ourselves. Please, God, let us never forget that we are loved and forgiven, no matter how great our sin may be.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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