May 11 Devotions

Today we will look at Luke 22:1-13

22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching.  2The chief priests and the experts in the law were trying to find some way to execute Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 

3Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve.  4He went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers of the temple guard how he might betray Jesus, handing him over to them.  5They were delighted and arranged to give him money.  6So Judas agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus when no crowd was present. 

7Then the day for the feast of Unleavened Bread came, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.  8Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us to eat.”  9They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?” 10He said to them, “Listen, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters,  11and tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’  12Then he will show you a large furnished room upstairs. Make preparations there.”  13So they went and found things just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

“Who was one of the twelve.”  Judas had been following Jesus for a long time.  Jesus had hand picked him to be one of the disciples.  He was a good guy, like the rest. But Judas had problems.  We know from the gospels that he used to help himself to the common purse they kept.  Judas stole from those who loved him.   One of the gospels tells us that Judas went and took his own life after Jesus was killed.  He tried to return the money he had received for the betrayal, tried to clear his conscience, but couldn’t.  Judas loved Jesus and betrayed him. 

When I read about this tragedy, it is easy to villainize Judas.  The betrayer.  But just a little sober thought and I remember that Judas was not the only one who betrayed Jesus.  Peter too betrayed him.  Peter denied Jesus three times in quick succession. Peter’s story, though, ends in wonderful joy and restoration.  He became the leader of the church! So what’s the difference?

Both felt shame, guilt and remorse, but Peter confronted it by running to Jesus when he saw him.  The difference was in going and apologizing, seeking mercy instead of running away from the trouble. 

We are all locked up with our loved ones, hurting each other is inevitable.  Going and seeking grace and forgiveness with truly repentant hearts can lead to hope and renewal.  Running away from the problems we have created only leads to despair. 

God loves us and has forgiven us.  If those we love have hurt us, offer the grace and forgiveness the need when they seek it and maybe God will bless us with an amazing restored or new relationship.  Maybe He will let us come out of this time of social distancing closer to him and to each other.

Pastor Mac