The Judas in Me

Posted: April 22, 2011 in FAITH
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Judas believed and followed Jesus, he saw Jesus performing miracles from feeding thousands, to driving out demons, to healing the sick and disabled and even raising the dead. He was there when Jesus preached parables that speaks of God’s Kingdom, of how man should live their lives. Judas shared treasured moments with the Son of God, physically! But after everything that he had seen and experienced, he still betrayed him in exchange for 30 silver coins.

Tonight, I wailed upon my realization that just like Judas, I, too, betrayed Jesus despite experiencing His presence in my life.

It has been 8 years since I accepted and begun my personal journey with Jesus. But those 8 years were also marred with my Judas episodes, episodes of my betrayal. I betrayed him in exchange of my own versions of the 30 silver coins. My 30 silver coins of disobedience – of clinging on my pride. My 30 silver coins of disobeying His words. My 30 silver coins of giving in to my sinful desires. My 30 silver coins of relying on my lofty plans for my life. My 30 silver coins of basking in my achievements. My 30 silver coins of rejecting and hurting people whom His Father also created thus He called as brothers and sisters. My 30 silver coins of not fully trusting him with my life’s decisions. Ah! My 30 silver coins that in those moments I treasured.

Yes, I am flawed and imperfect. My acceptance of Him 8 years ago meant the death of the old me. I did gain ounces of knowledge and hopefully wisdom along the way and I am closer to Him now than I was before BUT the fact remains that I also gained 30 silver coins.
Despite my betrayals, Jesus never failed to let me know how much he loved me. He never failed to make me realize that His love is not dependent on me, whether I love and follow him or not… He first loved me (period). He loves me even as I hold on and enjoy my 30 silver coins.

The only humane analogy that I (we) can grasp is that of a lover being betrayed by the one he loves in exchange for someone else – being rejected in exchange for another. The pain is unexplainable even by the most excruciating physical pain that we can experience. Human’s reaction would be an instant flow of HATRED – we can almost hear our hearts literally break into pieces as our thoughts begin to think of vile words towards the person who betrayed and caused us that much pain. Some even go to the extent of revenge. A that moment, we feel life leaving us, at the onset of the pain our sights are darkened and so are our hearts.

The difference with Jesus is, he never felt hatred towards us. After he was crucified, the first thing he said (just imagine the pain after being pierced with nails and also the amount of strength needed to even speak) was: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Surely, those words can only come out from a man who truly know what it means TO LOVE. His unmeasurable love for us trampled any amount of betrayal that can make him say: curse them! kill them! I hate them! May they suffer as I did! No, no, no… instead he asked God for forgiveness in our behalf. He interceded for us (for me). He embodied our sins by his death and by that death paved the way for us to be with the Father again. Only by the perfect blood sacrificed by Jesus that we are able to come before the Father. That cross is not only a symbol of Jesus’ death but also of His love that unto this day is being offered to us.

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NLT)

Oh Lord, forgive me. I am so sorry for my 30 silver coins. Oh Lord, forgive me.

Throwing away these 30 silver coins, I pray that you will guide my step and strengthen me to not exchange you for them. Your love saved me from my sins. Your grace covered me.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)

***

After posting the blog link in Facebook, Kuya Jaime Hernandez commented:

“Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied Him three times. Judas killed himself but Peter led the first century church. Both of them knew Jesus and heard the same message. What’s the difference?”

The DIFFERENCE lies entirely on how these 2 apostles viewed Jesus in terms of their sins.

Judas was filled with remorse when he saw that Jesus was condemned. He returned the 30 silver coins to the Pharisees, who did not want to take it back, so he just threw it in the temple then went on and hanged himself. Certainly, Judas was blinded and only saw his sin, that after all the time he spent with Jesus, he was not able to believe Jesus’ capacity for forgiveness.

Peter on the other hand wept bitterly. He repented. Peter believed in the power of Jesus’ love. Like Peter, we must also understand that Jesus love covers a multitude of sins, God extended His grace to us through His Son and with that grace, we live to glorify His name and share the good news to everyone else.

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