Holy Week - Wednesday
Briefly think of a handful of your closest family members and friends that you spend the most time with. What are some of your greatest memories together? Do you have any bad memories with them? Have they ever hurt you in any way? Have you ever hurt them? If so, how did it make you feel?
It’s currently Wednesday morning of Holy Week, two days before Good Friday. There is very little information known historically about the Wednesday of Holy Week; however, it’s debated that on this infamous day, Judas the Iscariot went to the chief priests to betray Jesus.
[ Read Matthew 26:3-5, 14-16, 45-50 ]
In his well-known hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Robert Robinson wrote: “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.” As humans we are naturally drawn to a sinful nature. Isaiah 53:6 states, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.” We are psychologically wired to stray from our Father in heaven and seek the wants of the world – money, materialistic things, high economic status, social acceptance, and many more.
Judas, though a follower of the Messiah for multiple years, fell into the sin of putting money above Jesus, literally. In our main passage we see him go to the high priests agreeing to betray his friend, the very Son of God, in exchange for a sack of silver.
If an act like this were done to us, we would probably respond out of anger, seek revenge, or retreat into passive silence. However, let’s look at how Jesus responds. While hanging from a cross enduring excruciating, indescribable pain, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). This man in the most vulnerable state of His life, betrayed by one that He loves, not only dies on a cross to fulfill God’s plan for His life, but by His own mouth asks God to forgive us, the betrayers.
We are unworthy of such a request.
As broken sinners who at times purposefully stray from Jesus, we deserve nothing more than the wrath of God. But because of the grace of the almighty Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. The blood was shed, the payment was made, and now we believers have been saved.
So how do we respond to this? We should be thankful and pursue a holy and godly life. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians instructs us to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). We need to forgive those who have done wrong to us because that’s exactly what Christ did for us.
As you go about the rest of the week and come upon Easter Sunday, a day that embodies the ultimate giving of thanks, humility, and love, consider the forgiveness that has been extended to you through Christ. Have you opened your heart to this forgiveness? Pray also that God would show you a certain person that you need to show forgiveness to, and ask Him to give you a forgiving heart.
Written by Garrett Sellers, FCM Senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering.