Read John 13: 21-38
After he said these things, Jesus was deeply disturbed and testified, “I assure you, one of you will betray me.” -John 13:21
To me, the most difficult part of the Holy Week story is the Judas part. Because it’s not finished. Matthew’s gospel depicts Judas committing suicide. But John’s gospel simply never mentions him again after the betrayal. In fact, in John’s gospel, Judas is portrayed as simply doing what he had to do. So I want to know what happens next. Is Judas remorseful? Does anyone reach him with the message of forgiveness that Christ bought for every single one of us? What happened to his family? Did the other disciples reach out to them?
Not everything is tied up neatly at the end of the gospel. It is a pretty messy story, after all, what with all of the disciples abandoning Jesus, the crucifixion and the empty tomb, and the ever-present threat of the religious elite and the Roman imperial guard breathing down on everyone.
But this we know: Jesus’ first greeting to his followers who witnessed it all, when he had overcome it all, were “Peace be with you.” Yes, for Judas too.
In the messiest human relationships, Lord, let your peace come. Touch the unfinished stories in each of our lives with your grace. Amen.
Let your heart go out to a “bad guy” in a news story. Pray for his or her redemption too.
Ask, “Do you remember the last time someone made a big mess in our family?” Laugh or commiserate over the story. Talk about how you’ve loved each other since then. Remind your children that life is sometimes messy (Jesus had some very messy things to deal with) and God loves us especially then.