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Lent - Day 16

Day 16 Monday


That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1: 3).


Matthew 26: 14-16
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
Luke 22: 1-6
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. 
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.
John 12: 4-6
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.
Why did Judas do it? The question endures through the centuries. Why destroy your life to hand over Jesus when they would have captured him soon anyway?
John’s Gospel gives Judas a base motive: he was a thief. The greed of a robber provides a presenting motive. It gives Judas a “carrot” to grab. But isn’t there more below the surface of stealing?
Luke says “Satan entered into” him. True enough. Judas became a pawn of the evil one. But that’s still not enough. Satan tempts us through our proclivities and weaknesses. He gets hold of us as we yield to temptation. And then creates havoc in our lives.
But I want to know more. Had Judas ever loved Jesus? Had he ever had higher motives than the meager money bag of the disciples? 
Why did Judas want Jesus stopped? What greater good would that bring?
In this first of three days looking at the character of Judas, we acknowledge the mysterious nature of evil. We destroy people we love. We choose disruption over harmony. We wreak devastation when we could have sown peace.
Judas was no different than I am. I approach his character with the fear and trembling that I may never get to the bottom of why he, and I, choose evil.


Judas traded prayer for conversations with himself. Instead of praising God, he could only rehearse his deeds. Instead of asking God, he could devise plots. When we enter sin deliberately, we interrupt our communion and enter an endless self-loop of solo conversation. Consider if you hear yourself in this one:
My God, it was thrilling!
What will you give me if I deliver him to you?
Hand him over. 
Betray his location to you 
So you can find him quietly.
I had the leverage.
I had something to exchange for coin.
To sell him out to buy me out
Of this life, this wandering, 
This dead end death trap of traipsing after him.
Coin to set me up in a real life.
My heart pounded with the possibilities.
Sure I felt the bottom drop out of my stomach
When I struck the deal.
The thrill was also fear.
Something hollowed out inside me.
I was losing something I hadn’t known I had.
But no going back.
Turn fear to contempt.
Sneer at his lap dog disciples.
Suck on my secret every time
He delivered another brilliant line.
He was going down.
I would deliver him. 
They would thank me.
They would respect me.
A man who knows how to deal,
To trade in power and secrets,
Make the Mover move.
I would deliver him,
But who would deliver me?
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20: 31).



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