Judas is my hope.
Because within each of us lies fragments of Judas.
A fragment of discontent with what we have.
A fragment of hard heartedness about the miracles we see.
A fragment of greed that wants the best for only ourselves.
A fragment of faithlessness toward the truth we know.
Judas walked with Jesus every day. We live with Jesus within us each day.
But how often do we miss who He really is?
How often do we walk past His grace into something we deem more important?
How often do we shun His forgiveness to hold onto something stealing our life?
How often do we lose the joy of His love for the appeal of silver and gold?
How often do we miss the everyday miracles of salvation by looking at what we don’t have?
How often do we run past His open arms to run into the acceptance of the world?
Most minutes of every day.
If we’re honest.
But here’s the truth of the gospel.
It doesn’t matter to God.
Because His love is so deep that it renames all sins, all shame, all suffering.
Because His love is so wide that it reclaims all mistakes, all wrong thinking, all hard words.
Because His love is so long that it reassigns all anger, all animosity, all angst.
Because His love is so high that it redefines the past, refocuses the present, and reframes the future.
He hopes that His love will come upon us like Saul and radically change our lives (Acts 9).
He hoped that His love would penetrate the religious heart of Judas. That the miracles he saw and the life changes he witnessed would create a new heart of compassion and care within him.
But Judas refused.
He refused to be transformed.
He refused to be turned.
He refused to trust.
So he became a traitor. A decision he almost immediately regretted.
And Jesus knew this potential was strong within him.
Yet Jesus called him.
Yet Jesus allowed him to be near Him for three years.
Yet Jesus never pushed him away or sent him home.
Yet Jesus drew him close at the Passover table.
Yet Jesus washed his feet.
Because Jesus knew it was part of God’s ultimate plan.
And the best thing Jesus could do for Judas was to love him.
Just like He does for us.
He loves us through every bad decision, every moment of shame, and every fear.
He loves us through every heartache, every tear, and every sorrow.
He loves us through each time we deny His name or abuse His grace.
He loves us through every minute of every day of our life.
Because He wants to.
Not because He has to.
Because He thinks we are worth it.
He thought Judas was worth it too.
But Judas couldn’t let go of his confusion, his calculations, and his callousness.
Loving Father, help us today to be the person who refuses to hold on to his/her anger, unforgiveness, and cold-heartedness. Help us to have eyes that see the miracles in the ordinary. Help us to have ears that hear Your loving whisper. Help us to have the courage to allow Your grace and love to penetrate every area of our broken heart. Help us to let go of everything we hold so tightly to that is far from Your best. Help us to find the freedom that You gruesomely died to give us – full freedom to let go and let God. Thank You for walking with us through everything and guiding us toward Your redeeming love and unending grace. Help us to become the people You have created and purposed us to be. In Jesus’ almighty name. AMEN!
Marie Fremin, 4/1/18