Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Lent, Day 43

" 'I say to you, one of you will betray Me.' " Matthew 26:21b

This follows closely with my post from yesterday. What is the difference, though, between denying Christ and betraying Him? Honestly, I don't know if there really is a difference.

However, the results of Peter's denial and the betrayal by Judas seem to be worlds apart, don't they? After all, Peter only said he didn't know Jesus. Judas gave Jesus over to the Jewish leaders, which resulted in Jesus' crucifixion.

I wonder, though. The servant girl and the others who heard Peter's denial...did it keep them from believing in Jesus? Did they look at Peter and think, "Wow. If someone who knew Him that well turns on Him, how good could He really be?" That, coupled with the fact that their leaders found Him guilty...did it keep them from faith, too? We will probably never know the answer to that question, as far as Peter is concerned. But what about us? Do those who know we profess to be Christians ever have cause to wonder if we really follow Him? How does it affect them?

Of course, we do know the outcome of the actions Judas took. We know Christ was condemned and crucified. We know Judas took his own life out of remorse for what he had done. So tragic to me. Judas gave into his greed for money. Maybe he thought he was doing something right, and ended up doing something terribly, terribly wrong. Either way, he could have repented. Jesus' forgiveness would have been his.

Therein lies our hope, too, friend. Amidst this season of introspection and repentance, we have the privilege of knowing the end of the story: the resurrection, forgiveness, life...! No matter how many times we have denied Him or betrayed Him, forgiveness can be ours, if we repent out of a broken and contrite heart.

My offering to God: I will reflect on the many times I have betrayed Jesus by not following His commands.
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