Thursday, April 13, 2006

Today is Maundy Thursday. Our pastor shared a sermon focussing on Judas and the dynamics of betrayal. I have to admit that I'd rather spend the evening meditating on Jesus himself and the final hours before crucifixion.

If only he had at least applied Judas to us - for how many times in our lives have we betrayed our Lord Jesus?

During the service, I did try to imagine Judas' mindset. The disciples for sure did not know that time is at hand: what Jesus had been telling them were already going to happen; they did not realise that everything in their lives would take a complete turn a few hours on. As with Judas, what was he thinking when he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver? The gospels have records of how he was outraged at Jesus on finance matters and that he in fact was pilfering. At the table during the Passover, he actually asked Jesus if he is the one who will betray him and Jesus replied, "You have said so". Would Judas have expected Jesus to plead with him? And since Jesus had replied him that way, would Judas have resigned to himself, "Alright, so shall I".

His betrayal seem to be instigated by his realisation that his purpose in following Christ is not being fulfilled. I have seen this happen many times in churches: people who somehow felt they are not getting what they want by following Christ.

The way of Christ is the way of the cross. And the way of the cross is the way of suffering, of love and of a complete surrender to God.

This is what I need to meditate on.

Picture by D. Carlton

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2 comment(s)

  1. Meaghan,

    Deep thought. It reminds me that I need to really look at what my unrealistic expectations on God are. It motivates me to think that I may have my own agenda that is so contrary to God's, yet this is Judas' plight. Judas serves as a warning to us to get to know what God is really about: know God, not just about Him.

    The crucifiction is the usual focus of this week. I can't help but think that we, as Christians, focus too much on the cross, and not enough on the resurection. Christ's death was for a point, and the cross was a stepping stone in the complete picture. Any Gospel that ends there is woefully incomplete. I am wary of preaching a doctrine of guilt: I should be beholden because of how Jesus' died on the cross. It is more important to me to focus on what He 'did' on the cross rather than the fact that He 'died' on the cross.

    If there is a day to focus on Jesus' death it is today. Praise God that it didn't end here!

    Please forgive me if I am sounding at all irreverent. I was raised in a Catholic home, and around Easter, I really get upset at what I wasn't taught as a kid. There is great liberty, love, joy, and little condemnation in the Gospel, and that was never conveyed to us there.

    Happy Easter, and thanks for putting up with my rambling.


  2. No worries, I am actually enjoying your ramblings. I ramble too much myself anyway ;)

    Yes, the resurrection completes it to present the saving grace of God. While preparing Romans 6 for my turn to present in our Romans class (God help me!), I can see that Paul stresses it: if we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. Yes, today we remember Jesus on the cross but like I mentioned before (Mar 24), Eastertide is longer than Lent and we are to celebrate life every Sunday. If I am not wrong, Lent is not inclusive of Sundays. I just remembered that, thanks to you. I am wondering why Lent was 47 days long! Thanks for reminding me – it got me puzzled for too long.

    I appreciate your point on what he “did” on the cross rather than that he “died”. You are right, spending too much on his death without capturing the purpose of his act is almost pointless.

    Doug, it is good to have encountered you. I have quite a number of Catholic friends and I am beginning to think I am where I am for a reason.

    Happy and blessed Easter to you and all at home!