Now that is almost the end of Lent & leading up to Easter, we have been contemplating the holiday, perhaps the most holy of all. Christmas is, of course, the birth of Jesus & the beginning of the story of His sacrifice for our salvation, but it all comes together & the promise kept on Easter.
And one of the many lessons that comes to mind when thinking about the Easter holidays is the prevalence of corruption & greed in the ancient world & how it continues today.
Thirty pieces of silver. It doesn’t seem like much… especially to betray a friend, let alone to betray the Savior who would give anything, including His life, for you. But it was thirty pieces of silver that tempted Judas. In today’s value that’s about $225. How desperate was Judas that he would not only accept a bribe, but such a seemingly paltry sum?
Judas wasn’t just anybody, he was a disciple of Christ, an apostle. He had walked with Jesus & listened to his teachings. But Jesus knew, as he always knows all things. Consider this passage from John 6:67-71:
So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.”
He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
When did Judas himself know of his own treachery? Was it always there? According to John, he carried the disciples’ purse. Was the temptation too much or was it that he was all too aware of how poor the followers were?
We don’t have the answers explicitly in scripture to these questions about the character of Judas, perhaps they are something that each of us to meant to find out for ourselves through prayer & contemplation. Perhaps the story of Judas is an invitation to look deep within & find those parts of ourselves where we are not worthy, where we might fall short, & in that discovery, to offer ourselves, naked & unafraid, to the Lord for his blessed forgiveness of even those sins hidden deep within us.