One of the challenges about helping people focus on the death of the Lord Jesus is that the story isn’t complete.
Good Friday as the conclusion of the story is sadness and defeat.
Sort of the same thing as telling folk to cheer up at a funeral.
It is the resurrection that gives Jesus death its meaning and authenticity.
And, for the Christian every day, not just this Sunday, is resurrection day.
That power is with us all the time.
Today we thought, not so much about Judas, as Jesus’ attitude to Judas and his betrayal.
We saw that Judas was affirmed as one of the twelve. Truly affirmed.
Even toward the end his feet were washed, he was present at the table.
And as he comes to Jesus to betray him, he is received in terms that affirm relationship while observing that things are not right.
The use of Judas’ name, the nature of Jesus’ address toward him, show that Jesus is free from resentment about what is happening to him personally.
His primary concern is for his friend, who has revealed himself to have a heart far from the kingdom of God.
Jesus’ words are not so much a sign of distress for his own circumstance as they show the heartbreak he feels for where Judas is.
His description of Judas’ action is diagnostic.
So often the question is about what happened to Judas, what is his eternal destiny?
I think more importantly the question should focus on the fact on what could have been Judas’s destiny.
And here we see that even though Jesus would go to the cross, Judas did not have to suffer eternal judgment.
He could have fallen on his knees before Jesus, confessed his sin and known forgiveness.
But he does not.
He experiences remorse over his actions, but what we read shows sorrow for the circumstance, not the heart that gave rise to the situation.
There is no betrayal that seems more personal, but Jesus is completely free from resentment or self-concern.
His great concern is for us, and that we recognise where we are in relation to God and turn to him.