A Horrific Response by Pastors…
Devotional Thought of a New Day
4 “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.” Matthew 27:4 (NLT)
805 Listen, where you are … mightn’t there be one … or two, who could understand us well? (1)
Some point to the man and claim he was the most evil man that has ever lived.
Some say his sin was one that could never be forgiven, that he was so sold out to the demons that possessed him, that there was no hope.
He would hear the words from those who were supposed to be his shepherds, those who were spiritually responsible for him, who were to call him to repentance, to nurture him back to spiritual health.
Their words, without mercy, without hope, left him no other option.
He went out and hung himself.
And until reading this today, I never wondered if anyone ever cried for him, if anyone did anything but respond with “he got what he deserved.” Or, “Good riddance.”
Judas Iscariot, another man, another sinner, another man who cried out, looking for mercy, confessing his sin, and the answer of the ages has not told him there was mercy.
The mercy Peter would know, and Paul would encounter, after killing a servant of God. David knew it though he too thought he had lost any chance of knowing it. So did Jacob/Israel, and even the people of Nineveh.
But not Judas.
When he turned to the shepherds of Israel, looking for absolution, looking for mercy, looking for some peace to alleviate the pain of guilt and shame he found none. It’s no our business, Your sin, your problem. You don’t belong to our denomination, you certainly are guilty, live with it. You are a sinner. (even though they were his PARTNERS in the sin!)
Hours later, the answer Judas needed wold be provided, as the sun darkened at noon, and that which separated people from the glory of God was torn apart. The Answer that every prophet, ever priest, every king, had pointed to, the love and mercy of God.
I know pastors today, me included, may have seemed as heartless at times. Or we dismissed the pain you felt Churches too have failed to call people to dare to draw near to Jesus, to see Him on the cross. Forgive us, call us to hear the sweet words of forgiveness as well.
For no one, no matter their ethnicity, their political party, their age, should ever go without hearing that God has forgiven their sins. Indeed, that He commanded the church to forgive them. Look around you, they are there… even those you would never expect to repent. For know this, God doesn’t want any of them to perish. God doesn’t rejoice in the death of any wicked person. Even Judas, ever us.
We cry out, “Lord have mercy!”
We find peace in hearing His voice, “I have!”
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Location 1856). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on August 7, 2015, in Devotions, The Way and tagged Abiding in Christ, absolution, apostolate, baptism, brokenness, cHesed, christ jesus, christianity, confession, Cross, Eucharist. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.