Jesus was still speaking when Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs and sent by the chief priests and the elders. The traitor had given the crowd a signal: ‘The man I kiss is the one you want. Arrest him!’
Judas went straight to Jesus and said, ‘Peace be with you, Teacher,’ and kissed him.
Read Matthew 26:47-56
Did Judas really think a large crowd armed with swords and clubs could take the Son of God by force? Matthew’s gospel highlights that it was Jesus’ choice to die. No amount of force or persuasion could deter Jesus from doing what he wanted to do.
Of course Judas is not alone in his foolish thinking. In fact a lot of the religions that are still around today teach their followers how to control the power(s) of the universe. I’ve also had times where I wished l could find a way to control God. Wouldn’t it be great to have a Jesus-in-a-lamp, a god who appeared at my beck and call and did whatever l asked? But if I was in control of Jesus, I would be God instead of him (and the world would be in trouble).
For Jesus to be God, he must always have complete freedom of choice. But Jesus’ love for us is so great that he chooses our needs ahead of his own, giving up his life so that we can live.
At times you will try to seize the controls, choosing your will over his, and God may allow it. But if he doesn’t, remember that his actions are always motivated by love for you.
Lord God, may your will be done in my life as it is in heaven. Amen.
by Jörg Ernst, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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