In regard to Holy Week, Scripture is largely silent regarding the events of Wednesday. However, many have reasoned Wednesday to be the day when Judas Iscariot negotiated 30 pieces of silver for the soon-coming betrayal of Jesus. It is for this reason they have labeled the day, “Spy Wednesday.”
Friends, this is not the best of news. As a matter of fact it is tough news to swallow, but here it is — we have much more in common with Judas Iscariot than we might like to think. Like Judas, many of us …
- Have received much grace from our Lord.
- Have been born as children of religious parents.
- Have been given biblical names.
- Have received a sacramental or initiatory rite as infants – circumcision, baptism, or dedication.
- Have been surrounded by God’s worshiping community; we are children of the covenant.
- Have been fully catechized and trained in the great doctrines of faith.
- Have faithfully observed God’s holy days, gatherings, and ceremonies. We have been religious.
- Have been graced by the approach of Jesus. He has called our name and bid us follow.
- Have chosen to become one of his disciples; we have walked and learned from him.
- Have found ourselves gloriously used by the Holy Spirit to minister in Jesus’ name.
- Have been privileged to be stewards of our Lord’s financial resources.
- Have been called to sacrifice and suffer due to our connection with Christ and his mission.
- Have grown in our outward expression of morality.
- Have read, prayed, sang, baptized, and eaten with Jesus.
- Have found ourselves under assault by the world, the flesh, and the devil.
- Have a tendency to judge others harshly and legalistically.
- Have a tendency to be swayed by material and financial considerations.
- Have an ability to kiss Jesus with our lips while disbelieving him with our hearts.
- Have a plethora of hidden secret sins which are not seen by our contemporaries.
- Have maintained solid reputations within the worshiping community; we appear sharp, godly, and dedicated.
Yes, friends and fellow disciples, we are more like Peter, Thomas, James, John, and Judas than we ever dare imagine. So now, what will we do? What will we do with our sin?
Will we respond like Judas?
Following the leadership of Satan, will we refuse to believe, repent, and run to Jesus for reconciliation? Will it be true of us, “It would be better if we were never born?” Will we prove to be one more “Son of Perdition” going to the “place where we belong?” (John 17:12; Mark 14:21; Acts 1:24-25) Will we really believe the lie of Satan and disbelieve the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Will we really believe our sins – as great and blasphemous as they are – are too great for Christ’s atonement and forgiveness? Oh sinful friends, why would we discount Christ’s love, ambition, service, sacrifice, and full atonement? Why would we disbelieve him and refuse his free offer of salvation? Why would we sin and die?
Instead, let us respond like Peter, Thomas, James, John and the rest of the fellows.
Let us remember Jesus who died for us on Friday. Let us rejoice in Jesus who rose for us on Sunday. Let us not deny our sin but confess and forsake it. Let us run to Christ, call upon Christ, and kiss his feet. Let us rest in the promise of absolute pardon and perfect sanctification. Why sorrow and die when we can sorrow, supplicate, rest, and live. Repentance is the key. All who grievously sin, deny our Lord, and then follow up our dastardly act by repenting and bowing before him, we can find ourselves like Denying Peter, Arrogant James, Doubting Thomas, Murderous Paul, Racist Barnabas, and the rest of the fellows. We can be like the centurion below and the thief on the cross. Horrid back-sliding, back-stabbing sinners are welcomed by the pierced hands of Christ, and they are granted undeserved grace, but they must repent.
Therefore, on this Spy Friday, let us see our sin, see our Savior, receive his Gospel, run back to him, and enjoy our eternal reconciliation.
In regard to the disciples, twelve denied him, but only eleven came home.
What about you and me? Will we come home to Jesus?