Holy Week Devotionals – Wednesday, March 31
Kurt Fehlis


“The Betrayal of Christ”
Mark 14:1-11

It might be easy to make Judas out to be one of the villains – the man who would betray Jesus.  That only intensifies when we consider how John 14:1-8 depicts this story.  John describes Judas as the one questioning the actions of the woman and points us to Judas’ possible intent, selfish greed.  Judas often would take money that the disciples had set aside to help the poor and help himself to it as he saw fit.

Let us pause to consider Judas Iscariot.  One of the twelve disciples, Judas walked closely with Jesus during his 3 years of ministry.  He was close and personal to see miracles happen and to hear Jesus’ teachings.  Not only that, but we also know he must have been trusted by Jesus and the other disciples if he oversaw the money.  We can infer then that he was not some fringe follower – Judas was a disciple through and through.

I can imagine Judas not thinking much of taking a few denarii here and there, possibly buying extra food and thinking the stealing of a few coins was not a big deal.  It was only a small sin, a private sin that was hardly noticed.  Is that not the ultimate betrayal of sin – even the smallest wrong choice corrupts us and can infect bigger aspects of our lives. 

Are we so different than Judas?  We see Paul write in Romans 3:23 “that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and he goes on in Romans 6 to remind us that the cost of that sin is death.  All sin, whether small or big in our eyes, has a consequence. Consider how Charles Spurgeon describes sin: “As the salt flavors every drop in the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature. It is so sadly there, so abundantly there, that if you cannot detect it, you are deceived.”  Our sin, all our sin, is inescapable.

For Judas, the presence of sin in his life would be destructive and ultimately lead to his own physical death.  But for us, those that have trusted in Jesus, we have hope.  Even though the cost of sin is death, Paul finishes Romans 6:23 with the reminder that the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus.  What sin created in the cross, God has used for redemption.  No matter the size of our sin, Jesus paid the full cost of it through his death on the cross.  This is the hope we are mindful of this week – that our sin does not define us but that the sacrificial blood of Christ does!

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