April 04, 2012


Mark 14:1-11

Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.
—Mark 14:10


Some people were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus, fearing that if he became king they would lose their power and prestige (see John 11:48). They needed the right time and the right person to betray him. They were delighted to have Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ closest followers, come forward to betray him.

Like the religious leaders, we too dislike others who rock our boat or undermine our status. Like Judas, we too betray the lordship of Jesus in subtle ways and try to sugarcoat our actions with nice-sounding words.

“It’s not my fault,” says the angry child; “he hit me first.” “Don’t blame me,” says the teenager; “my parents are poor examples.” “It might look like cutting corners,” we say to our co-worker, “but it’s just business.”

Judas probably tried to justify his actions when he betrayed Jesus. But the truth is that no excuse we give for our actions can justify us. If we hold on to our excuses or keep trying to justify ourselves, we betray or deny Jesus. Only the grace of God through the cross of Christ can blot out our sins.

Today God is inviting us to his party. Come and receive the joy of being right with God because of what Jesus has done for us.

Dear Lord, forgive us for the many subtle ways we commit the sin of betraying you. Thank you for the grace that is greater than all our sin. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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