Wednesday of Holy Week…
The lectionary Gospel reading for Wednesday of Holy Week finds us reflecting on Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.
I recently heard in the midst of a sermon a reflection upon the betrayal of Judas and the betrayal of Peter. Both betray Jesus, both experience remorse and even repentance (remember, Judas tries to undo his act of betrayal only to find that sin unleashes uncontrollable consequences… trying to manage our sin is like trying to manage a wild lion… it can’t really be done).
But their stories — Peter’s and Judas’ — end very differently.
We only know Judas by his failure, but we see Peter’s failure simply as one step on a journey to great leadership and influence in the church.
Judas became defined by his failure, while Peter became defined by his eventual restoration. As is so often the case, how the story ends is more important than each step along the way. How our stories end is what counts.
We all betray Jesus. That is one of the core messages of Holy Week. We are guilty.
The question is how will our stories end? With misery or redemption?
And more so… the question for the church at-large… will we allow people’s stories to come to completion? Will we allow the work of divine reconciliation and redemption? Or will we define people more by their failures than the redeeming work of Jesus in their lives?
Or, in other words, will the religious bureaucrats take the day (as with Judas) or will the Lordship of Jesus win the day (as with Peter)?