Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Betrayal is always a horrible, terrible, painful act. Judas was so filled with guilt, regret, and remorse that he thought that what he had done was so bad that he could never be forgiven. He though he didn’t deserve love or life. He lost hope for himself and thought his failure was final, and he took his own life. What a shame. Grace was available for Judas if he had just made his way to the cross. There is no one so bad, so disillusioned, or desperate who cannot experience the amazing grace of Jesus. If Judas had been around at the Resurrection and had approached the risen Lord seeking forgiveness, Jesus would have reached out to him with nail-pierced hands of love to forgive and restore him. Listen, none of us follow Jesus perfectly. We are messy mortals, but no where in our messiness does Jesus stop loving us. He doesn’t give up on you. Don’t give up on yourself. This day, this moment, bring any shame or guilt of any sin, any burden or betrayal or the pain you feel from being betrayed to the cross. Leave it there. Let it go. Take hold of the nail-pierced hands of the love and forgiveness of Jesus reaching out to you and live free.
– Dr. Tim Thompson