16 April 2014
I'm more like Judas than I realized...
It made me stop and think. Deep down, I am really no different than Judas. Judas tried to make God into his image, to make up his own version of who he thought the Messiah was. When I try to cram Jesus into a box to fit my needs, I become no different than Judas. I am trying to manipulate God to make Him something He is not, instead of letting Him change me.
Judas, like a lot of Jewish people at the time, thought the Messiah would be this crazy, powerful warrior King to free the Jews from tyranny of the Romans. This Messiah would have the strength/might of David and wisdom of Solomon to overthrow Rome.
Ironically enough, the Messiah that did come was not at all what people expected. He led in a much different, radical way. He came into this world poor and humble, born to peasants and in a cave. He challenged people to forgive not just once but 70 x 7 times. He said to not judge each other and to pray for those who persecute you. He challenged people to not let material possessions rule their lives. He called out religious hypocrites of the day and lovingly embraced sinners.
He was accused falsely, mocked, abandoned by friends, and brutally murdered. His entire life from birth to death called people to a radical way of living mercy, love, justice and compassion. Surely this couldn't be the Messiah Judas and many others had hoped for?! Yet it was.
Judas (like me) has a hardened heart. Judas has his own idea's of what the Messiah would be: powerful, strong, forceful, a warrior. Judas was so consumed with what he wanted; it controlled him so much that in the end it destroyed him. Judas was so focused on making God in his image, that he totally missed the boat on letting God change his own heart. I wonder if Judas had let go of all of that, would he have still so greatly despaired to the point of taking his own life?
And like Jesus' betrayer, I try and make God into something He is not. I like to try and tell Jesus 'no thank you' to suffering/pain/carrying the cross. I try to rationalize the need to be in 'control' of my life. I look for an the easy way in life, to avoid trials and difficulties at all possible cost. I get angry at God; yell and moan "why me?" Sometimes I am so focused on putting Jesus into a box in a certain way to meet my needs. Yet in doing that, He cannot soften my hard heart.
Jesus wasn't the Messiah that Judas wanted, but is He the one I want? Even amid the redemptive suffering, uncertainties, carrying daily crosses, and all that 'tough stuff' of Christianity? Yes.
Yes, He is.