“’Tonight all of you will desert Me. For the Scriptures say, “God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”’” (Matthew 26:31 NLT)
In yesterday’s post we looked at Judas’ betrayal, considering that in each of us resides the potential of being a betrayer. The fact is, “… everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23 NLT) We’re designed differently, so we may lean toward one avenue of sin more than another, but we’re all capable of anything given the right set of circumstances.
The very instant we say: “I would NEVER do that!” watch out (See Matthew 26:33). We’ve just sent a signal to the enemy to put us in his devilish sights. Here’s the truth, Judas wasn’t different than the other disciples, except his devotion, which over time, proved to be more to himself than to Jesus.
Two things send up red flags about Judas. First, he allowed his sin to separate him from Jesus. There are those who believe Judas couldn’t have ever had a relationship with Jesus, but I’m not so sure. Of course, theologically it’s cleaner if we don’t go there, but that’s a discussion for another day. My point here is Judas followed Jesus for three years.
He went with the others to share the Good News in surrounding villages and when they returned to report what had happened, they were thrilled that the demons were subject to them when they used Jesus’ name. Do you remember what Jesus said? “…don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” (Luke 10:20 NLT)
What’s my point? We’re susceptible to the same temptations that proved to be Judas’ downfall. But because we’re living on this side of the empty grave, we have clear options that Judas didn’t believe he had. I said yesterday that I believe if Judas had only waited until Jesus defeated death and the grave, perhaps he would have had a different outcome.
But the second red flag is this: my concern today isn’t Judas, it’s you, and me, and the thousands in our spheres of influence who are subject to the same failures as anyone else. We’re no better or no worse. Perhaps largely due to the Covid Virus, loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression are epidemic. More people are taking their own lives. Like Judas, they’re ignoring even the possibility that there could be another option for them. In their mind, because THEY see no option, there must not be one.
But you and I KNOW WITH CERTAINTY there’s HOPE IN JESUS! He’s the Way Maker! He’s the One who can open the sea and allow us to walk across on dry ground! He’s the One who walks with us in the fires of adversity! He’s the One who stands up to the enemy of our soul and sends him packin’! He’s the Shepherd of the sheep who carries the one who is lost, back to the flock.
Here’s the truth: There’s NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that you have done or can do for which you can’t be forgiven, if you’ll bring it to Jesus. If you or someone you know is depressed, perhaps considering taking their own life – PLEASE! I’M LITERALLY BEGGING YOU! COME TO JESUS! BRING WHATEVER IS TROUBLING YOU TO THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! The only unpardonable sin is the sin for which no forgiveness is asked.
Having suffered with depression for many years, I understand how easy it is to turn our anger, hatred, anxiety, in short, all the garbage we’ve carried for years, inwardly, assuming, or trying to assume, responsibility for it all. We think somehow, we can find a way to deal with it, but discovering that we can’t, we believe the only answer is to end our life. THAT’S A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL!
Jesus wants to take you into His loving, capable, strong arms – as a mother takes her crying infant into her arms – and give you the comfort, strength, and help for which you so long! Please allow Him to help you become the person He designed you to become.
You can live again! You can love and be loved! You can love your life and find meaning and purpose in serving the King of kings. He’s not out to get you, He’s out to love you and give you opportunities you never dared dream existed. He wants to heal you and give you wholeness in Him. I know, because He’s done that for me.
Please trust Him!