Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Friday - Holy Saturday

I watched the Passion of the Christ last night, and this time I paid close attenion to Peter's denials and the treachery of Judas.

I saw myself reflected in both of them. Because I am treacherous in my attachment to sin, and I outright deny Christ, whom I promise repeatedly to serve. I have the adulterous, divided heart described in the book of Hosea.

But it was one particular scene that brought me to tears last night; the scene in which Judas strings up the rope and hangs himself violently.

He spent all that time with Jesus, the Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity...and he didn't get it. He didn't understand. He hadn't been able to penetrate the mystery. He'd watched Jesus restore sight, heal the lame, and cast out demons. He watched all of this, apparently from afar.

Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. He knew all about it. And still, he allowed it in order to save us all. And He loved Judas whom He claimed as one of His Own.

Indeed, Judas betrayed Christ, and became convicted by his own conscience. His eyes were opened and he realized how far he had fallen, what he had done.

Judas made his final choice; he chose to die rather than to be reconciled. He didn't understad it. He probably knew the scriptures well, and knew that over and over, they say that God does not spurn a contrite heart...ever. Never in the history of the Old Testament does God miss an opportunity for mercy. No matter what that person had done, or how many times; God always forgave.

God's justice was for the unrepentant.

Clearly, Judas was repentant, for he saw what he had done to his Lord. But instead of being willing to ask for mercy, he fled, and he chose to die by his own hand.

Jesus would have forgiven Judas. If Judas had chosen to follow Him, even to the cross, he would have seen the repentance, and he would have forgiven Judas in that very moment.

He would have forgiven the single most treacherous betrayal in the history of mankind...and His Mercy was rejected.

What a lesson for us all. What a lesson for me.

Here I sit, the blood of Christ on my own hands, and still, He will forgive me. Over and over again, no matter what act of betrayal I choose.

Today is Holy Saturday, and as our Beloved Savior symbolically sleeps in the tomb and searches the depths of Sheol for our first parents, we prepare our hearts and souls for the joy that arises out of such silent grief.

This is not the end; despair is not a word that belongs to Christianity. When the sun sets tonight, a new light will blaze forth, and we will all rejoice for our Savior who died so horribly in order to set us free.

O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem!


1 comment:

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Yes, Oh Happy Fault.

This is a really powerful post for me because I don't think I really reflect upon the fact that Jesus would have forgiven Judas. If he can forgive us, than he can forgive His Betrayer too.