Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In the grip of grace

Today’s Reading: John 18:4-6 (NIV)

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. 6 “I am He,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)

Good morning!

It must have been a very confusing and frightening moment for the disciples in the olive grove that night. Roman Soldiers came, marching into the garden dressed in full armor, bearing bright fiery torches, and drawn swords. With them was Judas Iscariot, leading the way to the Master. Why was Judas with them? Could he be the Master’s betrayer?

Have you ever trusted someone who is not trustworthy?

There are times when we suffer because we chose to trust another. We risk trusting the people who do not deserve it. A broken trust can occur within family circles, through friendships, and even in the communities where we live and work together. We want to believe that human kindness will ultimately prevail, yet we find ourselves sorely disappointed by the people with whom we’ve invested our life’s blood.

On the surface, we wonder why Jesus, who already knew what was going to happen, hand-picked Judas to be part of his traveling mission team. Was it because He wanted Judas to have every opportunity to make the right choice? Had the Lord somehow hoped that Judas’ hardened heart would melt with true compassion for all? Would he somehow perceive that change did not hinge simply upon the overthrow of an existing government?

Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, as well as all the others. He saw the fear welling up in the disciples’ eyes. He knew and understood their pain. Even knowing what would happen, Jesus showed no remorse. He was fulfilling His Father’s plan; to become the only perfect, living and holy sacrifice for the sins of the world. He knew their fears would soon turn to joy, and the death sentence for humanity would be raised into a new and everlasting life. Jesus was willing to risk it all on the cleansing power of His blood.

Are you willing to risk being hurt for the love of Jesus Christ? Would you choose to love another, even if you knew they might betray you? Would you be willing to forgive their words and actions, and offer them your wholehearted trust and love again? May we find ourselves in the grip of the Father's grace when Christ returns to claim His redeemed.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

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