Let me tell you a story of treachery and betrayal.
The night before the dreadful day they all gathered, as was their want, for their annual get together. This time they met in secret, hidden away in the city.
Most of them finished the night happy; most of them oblivious to the treacherous act that was to unfold in the night. After all they were friends, colleagues, with a common aim and purpose, weren’t they?
They had been out campaigning together, up and down the country preaching their anti-establishment message; follow me and I’ll set you free.
Something had changed, in one of them at least. Perhaps it was that he no longer wanted to be the “bag” man, holding the purse strings as it were, maybe he didn’t like the direction his leader was taking.
The temptation was too much; so as soon as he left his friends he plotted the downfall of his ally. As the plot unfolded, and the rumours spread, the brothers had one question, who would betray their leader?
“It is one of the twelve,” Jesus replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.” (Mark 14 v 20). It was Judas. He was the one plotting to betray Jesus to the authorities, he was the one who went out in the middle of the night and gathered troops for the coup.
While Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was a shock to some, Jesus knew he was going to be betrayed and killed; so too did John the Baptist who pronounced Jesus to be “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1 v 29). Jesus also knew he would be betrayed by one of his closest followers, yet despite this, the compassion and care Jesus showed towards Judas is truly inspiring.
While the story of Judas brings criticism upon him, we all do wrong; we may be selfish or proud; we may be untrustworthy or even betray our friends. The amazing thing is that we can all find forgiveness. Jesus gave his life so that we can start afresh, and move on from our mistakes.
Jesus said “whoever believes and is baptised will be saved” (Mark 16 v 16). Baptism holds the key to salvation, allowing us to start afresh, no mater what mistake we’ve made in the past.
Jesus gave his life so we can start afresh.