Have you ever wondered how we are like Judas or are we like Judas? If you have, keep reading because we believe there’s a bit of Judas in us all. Most people consider Judas as the worst of offenders because he betrayed Jesus, but who among us has not betrayed Him in some way?
One of the most unusual things we encountered in Jerusalem was in an out-of-the-way church on the Mount of Olives. It was adjacent to The Grotto and filled with beautiful artwork. Some of the paintings appeared to have been restored, while others were nearly obscured beneath centuries of grime.
We made our way around the room as we looked at the paintings and finally arrived at a glass-enclosed shrine. Inside, there was a large rectangle of rock.
The Judas Rock
It was (reportedly) the rock on which Judas stood when he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. (Luke 22: 3-6, 47-48) A narrow opening under the lid was just wide enough to allow a piece of paper to slip through. The rock was covered with randomly scattered money and hastily written notes. We stared at the slips of paper and money and wondered…
Do people identify with Judas? Do people leave letters and money on the Judas rock because they see the betrayer in themselves?
We struggled with this for days. Did people think Judas could answer their prayers? That the money would redeem their sin? It took us a while to come to the conclusion that no one wants to identify with Judas. We already identify with him because we are like Judas. We, too, are betrayers.
How are we like Judas?
Our focus, like the Betrayer, is all too often on money, possessions, success, and prestige. We put what we want before the call of Christ. Pleasing ourselves comes before our relationship with Him.
We include ourselves in that corporate “we,” for, though we hate to admit it, we still put our own desires before Jesus all too often. Our first thought is, far more than we’d like to admit, what we want in a particular situation, rather than what Christ wants. Although we usually find our way to seeking God’s will, the first burst of “self-worship” is a betrayal of the higher call to the will of God. Neither dollars nor letters of contrition can change that.
We are like Judas when we put our desires above those of God, and only the grace of God is sufficient to save us from our shameful state. It’s the greatest paradox that our Holy God would exact the price for our sin from Himself, but He did, and He offers that redemption to all who will receive it.
What can wash away the stain of sin? The black shroud of betrayal? Nothing. Nothing but the blood of the spotless Lamb of God.
Today, let’s choose to love God first and love others as we love ourselves. In so doing, we live as those who have been redeemed.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
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