It’s probably safe to say that each of the twelve at some point felt profound sorrow and guilt for not standing by Jesus after all He’d taught them, after all He’d shown them, after all He’d brought them through. What’s the big difference between Judas and the eleven? It’s the same difference between nonbelievers and believers.
Judas and nonbelievers don’t think that complete forgiveness could or would be extended to them. Yes, of course, Judas made a huge mistake when he betrayed Jesus with a kiss, handing him over for 30 silver pieces, which at that time was the price of a slave. The monumental mistake Judas made was thinking that such wicked deeds could not or would not be forgiven by the Son of God. This apostle who had seen Christ heal people of a number of illnesses and infirmities, multiply loaves and fishes, perform countless miracles, including bringing Lazarus back from the dead, couldn’t take the leap of faith that God’s love was greater than his weakness and the evil he allowed to seep into him.
It’s likely the eleven also struggled to wrap their heads around Jesus being so loving as to forgive them when they high-tailed it out of there, but they don’t write off all hope of such all-encompassing mercy. They come around eventually. Fortunately, so do we.
There are certainly times when I could have stood up for Christ, remained close to Him, but instead I chose an easier way out. When I see I’ve turned away from Him, I feel sorrowful and sometimes struggle before accepting His Mercy is greater than every single one of my sins.
Lord, as Lent comes to an end and the three holiest days of the year, the Easter Triduum, begin, help us to be aware of the ways we’ve been like Judas and turned our backs on You, but help us overcome any disbelief that the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ was offered up for our sins, and that by His wounds and profound suffering, we are cleansed of each and every one of our iniquities and every single one of our many sins.
Note: This blog post is one I wrote and first posted March 31, 2010