In the days leading up to Jesus’ arrest, we see Him serving. Let us take some time over the next few days to reflect on Jesus’ final days on earth as we prepare for Easter, and all that means to our faith.
To understand Jesus’ heart during this time, let us turn to Luke 22. An odd place to begin it may seem, but here we see Judas agreeing to betray Jesus.
Specifically starting in verse 3, “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.” (Luke 22:3-6)
Despite this, during the Last Supper (only a few verses down) Judas not only sat at the table but Jesus washed the feet of every man there – including Judas. It is important to keep in mind that Scripture tells us in John 13:11 that Jesus already knew Judas had betrayed him. He was not blind to this in the slightest and yet, He washed Judas’ feet too (John 13:12). What does this say about the heart of the Savior? At the forefront Jesus was displaying not only that great leadership means serving and being humble, but He also displays what genuinely loving our enemies looks like. They need the Gospel too. We often talk in Christian circles about those who seem the “popular” or influential servants of God, especially in our media driven world. But Jesus chose to go to the cross for everyone and the pill that’s really hard to swallow is that in this scene, you and I were once Judas too.
We were God’s enemy, living in sin and being plagued by the devil to his whims and wishes. That is the VERY truth of the Gospel that without Jesus, we are all Judas – without hope of ever being redeemed.
We like to level sins as if to measure our “goodness” or lack thereof against one another, but we must look at the actual mark of entering Heaven (i.e., God’s presence) and that is Jesus Himself – perfect and flawless. We could never do that on our own. In this scene we each have been Judas. That is the very story of the Gospel. Jesus came for all of us, and this means Jesus came for Judas too. Each of us are the reason that Jesus chose to go to the cross. Because He knew the payment of the law had to be fulfilled or there would be no way. He is the only way.
Let this be a sweet reminder to us today, that no one is too far gone.
Despite knowing Judas had betrayed Him, Jesus washed Judas’ feet because Jesus chose to go to the cross for each of us. What a picture of who we were (Judas) and now who we are in Christ. Just like us, there are many who are still Judas and need the Gospel. Will you share it with them, and drop the sin measuring system as if any of us were any more than Judas in our lost days? This is why we call it the Good News, because all of us have the opportunity to become children of God and then share this victory with others.
For He has called us to serve rather than to be served, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (John 13:15-16)