Prepare is the word for the day, our scripture lesson has Jesus all but on the cross already. As I read the passage, my mind was yelling… “Wait! It is only Tuesday!” True enough… our lessons will not be linear for a while now.
This is the thing with being an Easter people. We are already and at the same time not yet. As Christians, we very much live into the drama of Holy Week from Palms to Passion from humble service to ultimate sacrifice. It is a whole lot.
That is in part why we have Lent; it helps to prepare us to read the Word and to struggle with those words.
Today’s passage contains the section where Judas kills himself. Honestly, it is a part I don’t like reading. That depth of pain, that anguish is just so much. Judas has been the subject of many late night college discussions, deep ponderings by academic theologians and bar stool theologians alike. There is part of me that clings to the hope that Jesus was still there for him, that there is space in God’s grace for a sinner like Judas. Part of me wishes Judas could have seen that, and known that and the story would have played out differently.
That story still can.
We all have had our Judas moments. Times when we have betrayed our faith, betrayed Jesus, or mocked him or just plain old forgot about him. The beauty of Easter is this; the resurrected Christ is there for us offering us forgiveness, life, and salvation. Here is the truly sad part of Judas’ story, he didn’t hang around long enough to encounter the risen Christ to know the hope of the resurrection, to know the peace that passes all understanding. His impatience got him into this mess, and it kept him there.
So as we continue to work our way to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and beyond… As you prepare for your Easter celebrations, May you continue to be blessed, to keep your hope, in the midst of a life that is sometimes difficult, in the love and grace of God in Christ Jesus, that is there for you already.