I’ve been sitting in this tension. So much so that I cried on my way to work. But I guess me crying isn’t really a valid measurement of anything because I cry about everything. But I cried, and I cried with so much pain because I knew both what Jesus did and what Judas did.
Because what Judas did was selfish. What Judas did was unforgivable and mean. He went against everything Jesus had taught him given all that time together, and he only looked out for his own personal gain. Judas was terrible, but sometimes, I’m also terrible.
I do things only thinking about myself and what I’ll get out of the situation. I know what God says and I know how Jesus lived, but here I am still trying to do things my own way as if I knew better. And in the end, I mess up and it’s me that looks terrible- not Jesus. So I might not be turning Jesus in for death, but I go against Him and I turn my back on everything He’s taught me.
That part hurts.
But then it hurts more when you think about what Jesus did.
Because Jesus knew someone was going to betray Him. Jesus even knew He was going to have to die. But Jesus didn’t call people out, embarrass them, shame them, gossip behind their backs about them. He did say it would be better if they had never been born, but Jesus doesn’t fight the terrible things that are about to come His way. Quite frankly, He does the complete opposite. He shares a meal with them. Breaks bread and drinks wine. He gives them final thoughts and the last wise words. He’s Jesus.
If that were me, and I was in His shoes, we know the story would have went differently. I wouldn’t have showed up for that meal. I wouldn’t have sat next to the person or shared food with the one who was going to betray me. I don’t think I would have called the person out because I hate confrontation, but you bet I would stop trusting them, stop caring for them, and stop loving for them.
But I don’t think Jesus ever stopped loving Judas. I don’t think at any point in his betrayal did Jesus ever think, “I’m going to drop you.” Jesus didn’t even fight it. He could have fled. He could have made preparations to leave and hide and not go through what comes next, but even when other people try to protect Jesus and defend Him while getting arrested, Jesus says to cut it out. He accepts what comes next and what has to be done.
And so I know what Judas did, and I know that more often than not, I am like Judas. But I also know what Jesus did. And just as Jesus never thought to leave or abandon Judas, I don’t think Jesus will ever leave or abandon me.
No matter how many times I mess up. No matter how much wrong I do. No matter how much pain I inflict on God as I keep trying to do things my own way. Jesus still prepares the meal for me. He still shares what He has available with me. And He doesn’t fight it when He pays the price and takes the consequence for my wrong doing. Above anything else, Jesus doesn’t go away but He makes a way for me.