Holy Tuesday, April 7

A person’s true grit is often revealed in moments of fear and chaos. On that dark night of arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, the fortitude of all the disciples was revealed as Matthew 26:56 tells us, “All the disciples deserted him and fled.”

One disciple, however, has been labeled throughout history as the prime example of unfaithfulness and deception. For over 2000 years, the name “Judas” has been most closely aligned with “betrayal.” Yet Judas did not do anything that every one of the disciples and that every one of us have not done.

Betrayal comes from the Latin verb “tradere” which means to hand over. It can also mean to be unfaithful, to violate trust, or to deceive.

Have you ever been betrayed? Betrayal is one of the most painful of human experiences. Discovering that someone we trusted and had confidence in has deeply hurt us can cause us to question all of our other relationships.

Have you ever betrayed someone? Think about it carefully. Have you ever “handed someone over” so that you might be more popular? Have you ever let someone down, or been unfaithful, or violated a trust? Have you ever deceived someone for your own gain? How many Judas-isms have we committed?

Judas symbolizes something about each and every one of us. We all know the brokenness of having been betrayed. We have all betrayed or “handed off” the needs of our sisters and brothers at one time or another. We are all in need of wholeness. We are all sinners. But we are also all forgiven. These are core elements to what this week is all about.

Prayer: God of infinite forgiveness, embrace us tightly this Holy Tuesday as we remember Jesus’ betrayal and arrest while here on earth. The pain of our own betrayals are far too heavy this day. Forgive us we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

– Woodie Rea

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