Thursday, April 21, 2011
His heart breaks for me
Eleven years ago I sat on a couch, 19 short years of philosophizing and semantics and knowing everything under my belt. She asked us to close our eyes, to open our hearts and to listen. Then I heard the story of a Man who sat down to eat dinner with His very closest friends. His traveling companions. They trusted one another in their darkest moments, lifted each other up in times of uncertainty. They traveled a rough road together, constantly being challenged and reviled for preaching their message of love and servitude. Yet through it all they remained steadfast in their mission, became stronger in their journey. He sat with His dear friends to share a meal, like they must have done so many times before, but this time...this time it was different. His heart was breaking. His heart was breaking that night because He knew that one of His beloved friends, with whom He shared His very life, would betray Him. That friend would deny everything they had gone through together. Would sacrifice their friendship, His love, and ultimately His life...for nothing. For a few measly pieces of silver, something that had almost no value at all.
And oh my friends, how I wailed that night, my body wracked with remorse and regret. Deep, heaving sobs of contrition. Because I, me, there in the flesh...I was Judas. How many times had I betrayed Him? How many times had I denied Him and sent Him to the cross? So adamantly had I hardened my heart, just as Judas must have done. I was no better. And when she asked what I was thinking, the best I could choke out was a feeble "Please...forgive him! Please...". It was just a mistake. He wasn't thinking straight. Give him another chance! Because he's so sorry. I'm so sorry. I wanted to reach through time and take Judas in my arms because...he couldn't take it back. He had to watch his Lord, his best friend, be killed. He died a slow, painful death, all for his selfishness. For my selfishness. And the pain of my pride being crushed under the weight of His love that night was almost too much to bear. Because He ate that dinner and wore that crown and gave up His life in front of that hateful crowd because of the sins of an imperfect person. He did it because of me.