Friday, April 08, 2011

April 8, 2011 … Judas, the Traitor

Passage of the Day: Matthew 26: 48 – 50 … 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest Him." 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. 50Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for."

My Journal for Today: Today, as we focus on the powerful drama of what transpired in the Garden of Gethsemane that fateful night after the Passion Passover, we see Judas of Iscariot “doing his thing,” … that dirty deed which identified Jesus as THE ONE to the soldiers who were there to arrest Jesus. And Judas, who had turned from follower to “fouler,” became the arch type for any and all who let their selfish agenda prevail in their lives over that of the Savior.

Judas had a preconceived notion – a selfish stereotype – of what THE Messiah should be. He envisioned his messiah to be a powerful leader, … one who would free God’s people from the oppression of the Romans. Maybe he remembered and envisioned the qualities of Moses and Joshua all rolled into one great Hebrew leader; and that’s the person he had thought Jesus would become. Quite possibly, and even likely, Judas also saw himself being elevated in stature politically and personally through his allegiance with Jesus, as The Messiah, since he, Judas, had been the one who had banked on Jesus becoming the Jewish Messiah.

However, as the events of time and the confrontation with Jesus in the Upper Room had transpired (see John, … chapters 13 – 16), Jesus had become the Messiah of humility, submission, and a slavery-type of servitude; and this was not what Judas Iscariot had given three years of his life following Jesus to see unfold. So, Judas took his personal agenda of power/greed to the Sanhedrin and the Jewish priesthood, who contracted with Judas to identify Jesus as they would come to arrest and have this man crucified. And tragically in today’s verse, we even see Jesus humbly and compassionately referring to Judas as “friend” as our Lord acknowledges Judas’ part in the Passion drama of the ages.

As I said above, Judas becomes the arch type of any declared, but nominal “christians” [with a small “c”], who use the label of “Christian” to gain favor or selfish gain from a world, hostile to all whom Jesus came into the world to save. And anyone who has an agenda for power and control in the world, who calls himself a “Christian,” might as well be kissing the cheek of the Savior, and selling Him out to those who might put Him on the cross. And like Judas, that type of turncoat attitude makes one vulnerable to demonic possession and/or satanic oppression, even domination, by that same advocate for evil who gained control over Judas, leading this misguided man to his own demise … at his own hand.

Above [see graphic], as I was pondering thoughts about how declared “christians” might become a type of Judas, thoughts of that famous Pogo Cartoon by Walt Kelly came to my mind; and I was able to find a 1972 version online which Kelly used to illustrate a book. And as you see, Kelly depicted Pogo (representing mankind) looking into a mirror of truth and seeing “the enemy,” … himself. And you probably know the now famous quote: “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

We must ask ourselves, as Christians: … “Are we selling out our Lord by any attitude or desire for personal power/control in today’s word?” If we are, shame on us as Judases, who use Christ’s Name in vain by our selfishness. And we have looked into the mirror of truth [i.e., God’s word]; and the one we see as the enemy is US.

My Prayer Today: Lord, give me discernment to recognize the enemy and to reject his onslaught so that I don’t become a Judas for my own Savior. Amen