I was sitting this morning, reading Matthew 26. Remembering the steps Jesus purposely took toward the cross. Recounting all that He said “yes” to, so that we might live…
Jesus had just finished praying. He had asked God to take the next few days from Him. The most awful days anyone could imagine. The worst days of His life. It’s ironic…His worst days, are the days we’re most thankful for. His worst, for our best. His death for our life.
Judas, one of the 12…one of Jesus’ very close friends…His confidant, His disciple. The one who would betray Him. Jesus knew. He knew way before it ever happened. But, the time had come…and after He had finished pouring His heart out to God…Jesus went to face the beginning of the worst days of His life.
Judas came onto the scene, just as Jesus said he would. He came with leaders and with priests…with swords and weapons. He came with one thing in his heart. Betrayal. The turning over of a friend, his teacher, His Lord…all for money. And Jesus had this to say to Judas:
“Friend, do what you came for.” [Matthew 26:50]
Jesus stood in front of Judas, the one who was in the process of betraying Him, handing Him over to be killed…and Jesus called him “friend“. It boggles my mind. It shows me the depth of who Jesus is. That he would call his betrayer, the one who would hand Him over to be crucified, friend…as he is in the act of betraying Him.
But Jesus. He showed us how to love in the most awful of circumstances. He showed us what unconditional love really looks like.
Unconditional love looks sin in the eye and says…I love you anyways.
I love you.
I’ve always loved you.
I will always love you.
No matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been or how far you’ve walked in the opposite direction…Jesus’ love is unconditional. His love, it’s everlasting. And it’s chasing after YOU!
This Easter, don’t think about yesterday or years gone past. Don’t sit in the shackles of sin and shame because of mistakes you’ve made. But instead, realize…
Jesus’ forgiveness is for you.
His love is for you.
And, maybe the most amazing of all, in the midst of your sin…He calls you, friend.