Easter Devotions

Road to the Cross: Day 5

By April 1, 2021 No Comments

 

The Judas In Me

Thursday, April 1, 2021
Morgan Colander, Online Ministry Coordinator

  

Daily Scripture

Luke 22:1-6
1Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

Matthew 26:36-56
36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”he asked Peter. 41“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52“Put your sword back in its place,”Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” 55In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Daily Devotional

When I hear the name Judas, I tend to have a knee-jerk reaction—judgment and condemnation.

This guy was one of “the twelve”. He walked alongside Jesus for three years. He witnessed miracles—the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus calming the storm, Lazarus being raised from the dead. He sat and listened to Jesus teach about the promise of eternal life that can only be found in and through Him. Judas was there for it all—yet in the end, he earned himself the title “betrayer”.

It’s easy for me to hear the story of Judas and shake my head in disappointment and disapproval. How could he choose to turn on Jesus with all he had witnessed and been a part of for the last three years?

It’s harder for me to hear the story of Judas and recognize that I’ve got some Judas inside me.

There are a lot of different theories as to the “why” behind the choice Judas made, but Scripture points out one reason—greed. Judas would get money in exchange for the betrayal of Jesus.

When you think back to the story of Adam and Eve, the motives are all too similar. Eve was told she could eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve had all she needed but when Satan dangled the temptation to want more, she took the bait.

Judas had the privilege of walking alongside the Messiah. Eve was given an entire garden to enjoy. Yet, when presented with opportunity for more, even though it meant turning from their good Father—they both took it.

Satan knew what he was doing in both instances. He knew what he was offering Eve and Judas didn’t compare with what Jesus could offer them, but when presented in the right light, in a time of weakness, it worked.

With the possibility of “more” in front of them, and a greedy heart, Judas and Eve turned from the One they knew would only ever fulfill them.

So, while it’s easy to hear the name Judas and cast judgement, the harder, and more beneficial thing to do, is search for the Judas in me.

Where in my life have I chosen greed over obedience? What decisions have I made based on the idea the world can offer me more than God can? Where is the Judas in me?

We all know the truth—that he is the only way, the only one who can meet all our desires, and the only one worthy of our worship. May we cling to that truth and when greed comes knocking at our door, remember how good of a Father we serve and say no to needing anything besides him.

Prayer

Father, whether or not we want to admit it, we all can relate to Judas. We have all been tempted to turn away from you because of something that looked more appealing from the outside. Father, please forgive us for the times we have let greed guide us instead of you. Reveal the “Judas” in each of us so we can be refined to look more like you. Thank You for choosing us and calling us your children. We love you. Amen.

Reflect

  1. What is your knee-jerk reaction when you think of Judas?
  2. Have you ever made a decision based on the idea the world can offer you more than God can? How did that turn out for you?
  3. Do you believe God is all you need?

 


Family Discipleship

Illustrate

Needed Supplies: paper, crayons or markers

Have you ever had a friend let you down? What happened?

Have your kid(s) draw a picture or write about a time they felt disappointed by a friend.

Share your examples as a family.

Read

Matthew 26:49-50
Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

Discuss

  • Judas was one of Jesus’ disciples, this meant that he was one of Jesus’ closest friends. Judas chose to help get Jesus arrested.
  • How do you think this made Jesus feel?
  • At any point Jesus could have stopped the arrest – he was fully God and fully human – but he did not. Jesus chose to be obedient to God.
  • Why do you think he didn’t stop the soldiers?
  • Jesus loves you and me. Jesus knew that he needed to die in our place so that if we believe in him, we can live forever with God. he provided a way for our sins to be forgiven.

Pray

Dear Jesus, thank you for choosing to save us. Thank you for your forgiveness for our sins. Help us forgive those who have hurt us. Amen.

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