Read Mark 14:43 – 52, Matthew 26:47 – 56 and Luke 22:47 – 53 and you will discover how one of Jesus’ disciples named Judas betrayed him. Join us in our brief study in these Pastoral Reflections the final days of Jesus Christ our Lord’s life and ministry leading up to the cross. I often wondered why Jesus selected Judas Iscariot knowing that he was a thief and a devil as his disciple. The fact is Jesus handpicked each of his disciples. So one wonders why did he select Judas? Judas was the treasurer in the group and according to John 12:6 Judas protested when Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus had taken spikenard, which was very expensive oil and anointed Jesus’ feet. Judas claimed that they could have sold it and given the profits to the poor. But John reported that Judas really didn’t care for the poor. He kept the money and stole and spent whatever he wanted on himself. So again, I raise the question, why would Jesus select a man like Judas to be his disciple? I believe Jesus did that for our benefit. Jesus selected Judas to demonstrate to us that the Devil is real. The Devil is not some medieval creature with horns and a tail breathing fire. The Devil is evil and he uses people as he used Judas. Jesus is teaching us that the Devil comes to church because anything he can’t stop, he joins! Judas was a disciple. He was never saved but he held the title of disciple. Now don’t wonder who’s saved and whose not. Just be sure that you’re saved. And then Jesus is teaching us that he is able to defeat the Devil. Jesus destroyed the Devil at the cross. He arose victorious. Jesus conquered Death, Hell, the Grave and the Devil at Calvary. Judas received a scathing judgment. Jesus said in Matthew 26:24 that if would have been better for Judas not to have been born than to betray the Son of God. Jesus Christ defeated and destroyed all our enemies. And for that we can forever praise Him!
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” John 1:29 NKJV.
John the Baptist was the only human being in recorded history born filled with the Holy Spirit. God called him into prophetic ministry. He was called to introduce and announce to the world the coming of the Son of God, Israel’s Messiah Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Our scripture for today are the words recorded which John the Baptist spoke when he saw Jesus coming to be baptized. John called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus is also the only human being recorded in history who was born with a reason to die. He was born into the world for the purpose of saving all humanity as a perfect sacrifice for our salvation and redemption. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, the penalty of Divine Justice was paid, the requirements of Divine Holiness were satisfied and the standards of Divine Righteous were fulfilled.
We’ve entered into the season that we as Christians celebrate as the Lenten Season. During the Season of Lent we acknowledge the reality of our own mortality. The season begins on Ash Wednesday and it ends on Resurrection Sunday. This season marks the last 40 days of our Lord’s life and earthly ministry. For now, all roads lead to Calvary and the Empty Tomb. This is the holiest season in Christendom. As we reflect on the service, sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ our Lord during this time, let us do so with appreciation, adoration and renewed commitment and dedication to Him as disciples. Many people are led to make personal sacrifices by giving up something and reflecting as they are led of the Holy Spirit. Personally, I spend special time in prayer, Bible study, and meditation as I retrace “His steps on the Road to Calvary”. I challenge you, read one of the four gospels and spend quality quiet time in prayer as we celebrate Lent, it will bless your life! Be blessed.