Just yesterday I was visiting with a coach. She was sharing with me a conversation she recently had with one of her students. The student came to her and confided in her a poor decision she had made. As the coach and I talked through it, she kept coming back to how disappointed she was that this student even chose to do what she did. She was disappointed, but also still wanted her student to know she was loved and cared for.
As I read the scripture below, I couldn’t help but think back to that conversation I had with the coach and something she shared with me. She said, “I never want a student to feel that they have done something so terrible that they are too far gone for me to still care about them. Because that is true of Christ’s love for us. We are never too far gone for him to love us.”
43 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. With him was a mob, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 His betrayer had given them a signal. “The one I kiss,” he said, “he’s the one; arrest him and take him away under guard.” 45 So when he came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 They took hold of him and arrested him. 47 One of those who stood by drew his sword, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear.
48 Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal,[a] to capture me? 49 Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
50 Then they all deserted him and ran away. 51 Now a certain young man, wearing nothing but a linen cloth, was following him. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked.
She was disappointed in her student, that the student had fallen short of what this coach had hoped for her. For me this just paralleled so clearly with Jesus and Judas in this scripture. Even though Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, don’t you think he still felt so disappointed that one he loved would disappoint him so greatly? Not only did Judas betray him but then the rest of those who were with him ran away in fear. Jesus was all alone to face death.
Easter is a season meant for hope. But this week leading up to the day of resurrection is also a clear reminder of how we fall short. How we disappoint God too. But just as that coach wants to show love to her students even in her disappointment, that is even more so true of God’s love for us. He knows we will never live up to the standard set for us.
I think it is important for us to set some time aside leading up to Easter and recognize where, in our sin, we are betraying our Savior. Where are we abandoning his truth for our own.
Sarah Lancaster is a founding plant team member at The Table. For the past 5 years she has served on our Leadership Team and oversees the worship ministry as a member on our staff.