Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
“Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate said, “So you are a king?”Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?” But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)
For three years Judas walked with Jesus. He saw the greatest life ever lived up close and personal. Judas witnessed the miracles, heard the teaching and was involved in the ministry. He was part of “the Twelve” and was entrusted with being in charge of the moneybags. He sat at the Last Supper and for three years Judas walked with Jesus. He sat at the Last Supper with Jesus and the other disciples and ate “the Bread” and drank “the Cup” but he had already made his deal with the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver in return for betrayal, And now Judas kissed the King with blood money on his hands.
” And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” —Matthew 26:47-50
Jesus was not a stoic in this situation. He saw it coming but knowledge doesn’t numb pain. A betrayer sacrifices someone else for their own gain. As a result many who have been betrayed experience anger, a sense of worthlessness, self-doubt, and soul-deep pain. Jesus understands betrayal.
Today fast discontentment! Somehow, in spite of everything Judas saw, heard, and experienced with Jesus it wasn’t enough. He wanted something more or something else or both. His sense of not having enough led him to steal from the moneybag (John 12:6) and fill his personal wallet with thirty silver coins. Even then he still was not satisfied and tried to rewind his actions to no avail. It is as though Judas was plagued with a nagging sense of not-enough-ness. Today fast daydreaming of “more.” Refuse to allow for discontentment brain space. Each time you are tempted to picture your life with something else or something new or something different, STOP. Redirect your mental energy to thank God for anything in your current reality for which you can be grateful.
Question to Consider
Are there areas in your life where you have felt betrayed, offences that you need to be free of? Jesus understands. Ask him to walk with you, lay those things at the cross, ask for the healing that only Christ can bring.
Think of those who once ate at the Church’s table and then somehow fell away. What factors may have contributed to their departure? Pray for them to find their way back home.
Lord, thank you that you are our provider and healer. Help me to live in thankfulness for the bounty in my life. Give me eyes to see how you care for every detail in my life.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)
The 40 days of decrease blogs have been inspired by the book “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole.