If you read my "Reflections" last week, you know that I talked about all of the special days during that week ("Pi" Day, The Ides of March, and St. Patrick's Day) -- except Wednesday. Well, since this is Holy Week, I thought I would check to see if this Wednesday was ever anything special in the same way tomorrow is Maundy Thursday and Friday is "Good Friday." It turns out that today is sometimes referred to as "Spy Wednesday" - particularly in the Orthodox Christian churches. It is called Spy Wednesday because the word "spy" originally had the meaning of "ambush" or "snare." In some traditions, Wednesday was thought to be the day when Judas met with the religious authorities and agreed to betray Jesus. From that point on, Judas started looking for the opportunity to "snare" Jesus. If you have never heard of this before, don't worry. I hadn't either. I just happened to stumble across it.
Sometimes I wonder why Judas did what he did. The Bible seems to indicate that he was influenced by Satan to do this. (Luke 22:3) The Bible also suggests that Judas had a problem with money and often stole from the common purse. (John 12:6) Maybe he just did it for the thirty pieces of silver. He certainly would not be the first person who did something wrong for financial gain. The movie Jesus of Nazareth portrays Judas as someone who wanted to force Jesus' hand and make him show who he really is. In a strange way, he betrays Jesus in order to let everyone know he is the Messiah. There is no real Biblical evidence for that theory, but it is interesting.
I have always thought it remarkable that Jesus chose Judas in the first place. At what point did Jesus know that Judas would betray him - from the beginning, or was it not until near the end? Whatever the case, Judas reflects the worst of humankind. Yet, amazingly God still uses his betrayal as a way to bring salvation to the world through the death of Jesus on a cross. And if God can do that -- then God can do anything!
Prayer for Today
Thank you, Lord, that you somehow manage to take the worst the world has to offer and redeem it in such a way that the end result is good. Help us to do the same in our world today. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.