Betrayal is a subtle visitor . . . until it isn’t.
On the night that Jesus was betrayed, only Jesus saw the darkness lurking. He had gathered with his disciples to eat Passover. Jesus, always the one to use every moment to open hearts to truth, took the towel and basin and washed his disciples’ feet. Peter, outspoken as always, protested the inappropriateness of his Master turned servant. Jesus looked into Peter’s eyes and helped Peter realize this washing was not just about dirty feet. It was an invitation to surrender more of Peter’s raw and misguided enthusiasm.
Judas was there with dirty feet and misguided assumptions. Jesus gave Judas the same opportunity for surrender that he gave the other disciples. However, seeds of betrayal had already been growing. We saw them at Mary and Martha’s house when Mary washed Jesus’s feet with expensive perfume and Judas called it waste. It was betrayal hidden behind logic and reasonable response.
I have been asking myself what seeds might be buried in my life? Where do I use logic to identify mission and ministry? Where do my needs or insecurities betray the call of Jesus to follow him without struggle or reticence? Where have I allowed Jesus to wash my feet but not my hopes and dreams?
The important question as we journey toward the cross is whose response will we choose? Peter’s or Judas’?
Is it possible to experience a true resurrection of all that Jesus came to bring if betrayal lurks? Resurrection cannot live with anything that sabotages life in the abundant way Jesus came to share.
We must ask, “Lord, is it I?”
Unlike Judas, we still have time to choose life.
2018 Lent Scripture Reading*
March 28-April 3
Wednesday: John 13:21-22
And as they were eating, [Jesus] said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” (RSV)
What if betrayal is as simple as letting our own ideas take priority over Jesus Truth and Way? Where are you most vulnerable to allow seeds of betrayal to grow? Let Jesus wash that tendency away.
Maundy Thursday: John 13:8b
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
What part of Peter’s response do you identify with? What part threatens some area of unexamined comfort? Let Jesus bathe you with forgiveness, grace, and his presence.
Good Friday: John 19:17-18, Isaiah 53:12b
Carrying his own cross, he went out to the The Place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. . . He poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
The crucifixion is a sobering review of how much our betrayal cost. It was a blood sacrifice like no other. Take time to review the torture, the insults, the nailed flesh, the last labored breaths to purchase your freedom. But hear the whisper clear as ever . . . For you!
Holy Saturday: John 19:41, Genesis 2:8a, 10a, Ezekiel 47:9b
At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. . . Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden. . . . A river watering the garden flowed from Eden.
Where the river flows everything will live.
Today is the day of the closed tomb in a garden. What message do you see through these three passages? How is Jesus the river that brings life? Is there any closed up place where you need this river to flow?
Easter Sunday: Isaiah 25 Mark 16:6:7
On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all people . . .he will swallow up death forever. . . You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!
What did Jesus swallow for you? Are you looking for what he did and who he is? Resurrection Sunday celebrates everything that Jesus came alive to share with you. Be specific about what this means to you today. Then celebrate it with your voice and your life.
Easter Monday: John 20:18
Mary of Magdala went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” and she told them that he had said these things to her.
Before Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into the world, he commissioned Mary to go back to the disciples with the witness of the resurrection. Who in the your family of faith needs your witness of the resurrection?
Tuesday: John 20:19
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear . . . Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Before Jesus sent the disciples into the world, he gave them peace. What keeps you behind “locked doors? What do you fear? Hear what Jesus tells you before he opens your locked doors.
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