Judas’ Kiss

Years ago, the singer/songwriter, Michael Card, wrote a song called, “Why”. The words are: “Why did it have to be a friend who chose to betray the Lord. Why did he use a kiss to show them, that’s not what a kiss is for. Only a friend can betray a friend; a stranger has nothing to gain; And only a friend comes close enough to ever cause so much pain. And why did there have to be a thorny crown pressed upon His head. It should have been the royal one made of jewels and gold instead. It had to be a crown of thorns, because in this life that we live. For all who would seek to love a thorn; is all the world has to give. And why did it have to be a heavy cross He was made to bare; And why did they nail His feet and hands, His love would have held Him there. It was a cross, for on a cross, a thief was supposed to pay. And Jesus had come into the world, to steal every heart away.” Every time I read about Judas’ kiss to identify the Lord, I think of this song, and all the “why’s” that come to my mind. In the Bible, we are led to the account in Luke of Jesus’ arrest: “While He was still speaking, suddenly a mob was there, and one of the Twelve named Judas was leading them. He came near Jesus to kiss Him, but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’ When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they asked, ‘Lord, should we strike with the sword?’ Then one of them struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. But Jesus responded, ‘No more of this!’ And touching his ear, He healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, temple police, and the elders who had come for Him, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal? Every day while I was with you in the temple complex, you never laid a hand on Me. But this is your hour – and the dominion of darkness.” Luke 22:47-53 This scripture takes me to the times when I was like Judas. And if we are honest, we all have had times in which we betrayed Jesus, when faced with the dominion of darkness. The scenes flash in front of me, when I was asked a question that had a yes or no answer to my faith, and I either remained silent, or used some excuse so as not to give away my belief. Why do we do that? Why do we get into situations that would have us stand for our faith, and remain quiet? Isn’t that like what Judas did? Aren’t we betraying Jesus every time we are put in a situation to proclaim our faith and remain quiet? I still remember the pain of guilt that accompanies that decision. Fortunately Jesus knows our weaknesses and understands, and doesn’t hold that against us. But He wants us to stand for our faith. He wants us to proclaim our love for Him from the rooftops. He wants us to speak when the dominion of darkness pushes to keep us quiet. Our churches are filled with people who love the Lord, but will not admit it in the company of unbelievers. “Only a friend can betray a friend, a stranger has nothing to gain.” We have to settle whether or not we are a friend of Jesus or a stranger. If we love Him, we will not be ashamed to reveal our love and that we follow Him, and will not betray Him. To step back from that behavior is as if He is a stranger to us. Romans 10:9-10 tells us: “If you confess with your mouth , ‘Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” Jesus will never condemn us for our weakness, for He knows, but our own actions will betray us like a friend with a kiss. It will act like a friend, but step back in the shadows when confronted with the truth. Is there ever a time when you stepped back instead of standing firm in the faith? If so, Jesus will give you strength, if you just let Him. Trust that He is right here with you. His Spirit guides us and strengthens us, for every action that we might find in this dominion of darkness that continues to follow us. Pastor Andy

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