“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” — Isaiah 53:3
He’s still despised today. We still hide from Him. We turn our backs. We try to approach life intellectually, so as to show we are more sophisticated than the theology of Christ needing to die for us, to be pierced and crucified, to be buried and rise again, that we may have fellowship with Him and The Father forever through the Holy Spirit.
Paul said “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and the Greeks foolishness.’ — 1 Corinthians 1:23
I always look for Easter to speak to me, I seek for different angles to think about it and meditate on it, let it saturate me and become more real to me. I don’t ever want it to be stale to me.
This year it’s been without question Isaiah 53, and Mathew’s account in the Gospels.
I’d like us to think a little more about Judas this Easter. Because it’s important in these days when no one escapes unscathed by betrayal, and we grow in danger of ‘the love of many’ growing cold because of offense. Jesus was not immune to this. Every disciple fled. Every. John did come back. But in the Garden, they fled. They slept when He needed them to pray. They ran when He was taken. Cut and run. And He still loved them. He totally forgave them.
And Judas. Smh. Selling Him out. Really? Kissing Him as the sign that He was the One they should take. So bitterly ugly. So painful. Jesus knew it was coming. And that it was coming through His friend, and that His friend had really chosen not to be His friend.
When I was reading Matthew 26 tonight, I realized Judas was disgusted and JEALOUS. How sad. Tragic really. He had a front row seat to the greatest show on earth, and Judas’ response is ‘Who does he think he is?’ And Judas makes the decision right then and there, ‘What will you give me if I give him to you?’. It seems to me to be completely ego and pride fueled jealousy. I always thought of Judas as a thief and motivated by greed, but tonight it hit me differently.
Because we all get hurt by jealousy. It’s sad really. No one is immune. And Jesus feels that pain with us.
I’m going to put the part that hit me here for you to pick up on it, see if it speaks to you like it did me.
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 THERE CAME TO UNTO HIM A WOMAN HAVING AN ALABASTER BOX OF VERY PRECIOUS OINTMENT, AND POURED IT ON HIS HEAD, as he sat at meat.
8 BUT WHEN HIS DISCIPLES SAW IT, THEY HAD INDIGNATION, SAYING, TO WHAT PURPOSE IS THIS WASTE?
9 FOR THIS OINTMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SOLD FOR MUCH, AND GIVEN TO THE POOR.
10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, WHY TROUBLE YE THE WOMAN? FOR SHE HATH WROUGHT A GOOD WORK UPON ME.
11 FOR YE HAVE THE POOR ALWAYS WITH YOU; BUT ME YE HAVE NOT ALWAYS.
12 FOR in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, SHE DID IT FOR MY BURIAL.
13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
14 THEN ONE OF THE TWELVE, CALLED JUDAS ISCARIOT, WENT UNTO THE CHIEF PRIESTS,
15 AND SAID UNTO THEM, ‘WHAT WILL YE GIVE ME, AND I WILL DELIVER HIM UNTO YOU? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” — Matthew 26:7-15
See how through the bountiful, luxurious worship by that woman, of Jesus, her spirit responds to to the Holy Spirit’s prompting? Holy Spirit inspired worship bypasses our mind and what we know, and goes straight to our spirit, where we know something, and we might not can explain it, but WE KNOW IT. And when we act on it, it’s beautiful, and powerful and pleasing to the Lord, and along with that may appear senseless to others, but do it anyway!
There will likely be a Judas around to be jealous and hate it blindly, not even understanding what’s motivating them. Shake it off. Bring Him your alabaster box!
We have two examples in Matthew 26, we can worship the Lord, with abandon, without reserve, in a very insensible fashion, we can choose to PARTICIPATE in the worthy worship of The King of our heart!
Or we can be the observer, cynical, unfulfilled, empty, and because we are empty, we are jealous and disgusted and we refuse to participate. It will make us destructive. Destroying what other people build. Judas. It’s the difference between participating and observing.
In the Church today, in the Body of Christ, choose to be the Woman with the Alabaster Box!
May His GIFT that sets us free be more real to you than ever before this Resurrection Weekend.