Reflecting on Matthew 26: 14-27:66
He must have done a thousand righteous things in his life. He was chosen by Jesus himself to be one of the Twelve. He was trusted to be the treasurer, and to hold the group’s money bag. Yet, his eternal title will be Judas, the Betrayer.
We’ll never know why on earth he did it. For thirty pieces of silver? The cynic says, “Of course. People will do anything for money.” But is there any one of us who would hand a loved one over to be tortured and killed because we could make money by doing so? Never. Judas was up to something, and even today scholars can’t quite discern what it was.
I’m intrigued by what the author of Matthew’s gospel says: “Then Judas, his Betrayer, seeing that he had been condemned, greatly regretted what he had done.” Did Judas try to step into history and force God’s hand? Did he think that once the soldiers took hold of Jesus in Gethsemane he would call upon his legion of angels, who would slay anyone laying a hand on God’s Anointed?
It followed that Jesus would then gather an army who would roust the Romans from Israel, and the Jews would once again control their homeland. Judas (before he was “the Betrayer”) was no doubt named after Judas Maccabeus, the great warrior who liberated Jerusalem from the Seleucids. Judas―perhaps thinking of his great ancestor― was willing to temporarily “betray” Jesus in order to finally get him to harness his heavenly powers.
But it didn’t happen that way. Jesus was condemned to death. His Betrayer hanged himself. And Jesus set out on the way of the liberation of the Cross.
For what betrayals in your own life have you been forgiven and set free to be happy again?
Kathy McGovern ©2017