Master of the Club
Judas is the famous villain in the Jesus crucifixion story. Truly, he deserved the honours. But it was not just Judas.
When Jesus perceived the moment of his trial and death had come, he took his closest confidants to a garden to pray. They could not even pray with him for one hour without giving in to sleep (Matthew 26:40). Jesus faced the most agonizing moment of his life without support from his closest allies.
Next scene in the garden episode saw Judas showing up with the Chief Priests, captains of the temple and the elders (Luke 22:52) to arrest Jesus. Aren’t you surprised that these are the same folks Jesus usually hanged out with in the synagogues and temples?
The forsaken one
On the way to Golgotha, Jesus carried the burden of the cross all by himself. The Roman soldiers had to conscript a passer-by to help him. By this time, his closest followers had deserted him and fled (Matthew 26:56).
At Golgotha, while he hanged dead on the cross, even Peter who vowed to go to prison and the grave with Jesus was nowhere to be found. It was a certain Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who was a secret disciple that arranged Jesus’s funeral (John 19: 38-42).
You would have thought that the disciples would snap back and rush to Golgotha after the Sabbath. Even when the faithful women who were first to go look for Jesus took back the good news of his resurrection, the disciples struggled to believe – Peter could only shake his head in amazement after seeing an empty tomb (Luke 24:12).
But Jesus still cared enough to appear to the fearful and faithless disciples where they have locked themselves up (John 20:19,26). Many saw him and still doubted (Luke 24:41; Matthew 28:17), and Peter even had to go back to his day job (John 21:3).
How many times would you be heartbroken before you give up on a relationship?
Jesus sure has a large heart. I want to believe Jesus has a soft spot for flops, cowards, and the faithless.
With all the chronicles of betrayals, disappointments, denials, abandonment, unbelief, and lack of commitment, you would have expected Jesus to move on. But that’s not the Jesus way. Jesus went ahead to empower and commission the same folks who repeatedly let him down (Matthew 28: 18-20; Luke 24:49).
This is good news!
If you feel you have ever disappointed God, welcome to the club. It’s a large group so you are in good company.
The same Jesus is still looking out for the likes of Peter the falling rock, John the missing beloved, doubting Thomas, and all other unreliable folks like you and me.
No man or woman is too broken for Jesus to fix and use for his glorious purpose. If you haven't disqualified yourself, Jesus sure has a plan for your life.
Prayer: Dear God, I come to you as I am, let your love cover my failures in the name of Jesus.
Bible Reading: Luke 24: 36-46; Matthew 28:16-20
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