As we continue to look at the week leading up to the cross and the resurrection, we arrive at Spy Wednesday, which gets it's name from Judas agreeing to spy on Jesus for those who wanted to put him to death.
Read this Scripture: Matthew 26:1-16
Jesus retreats to a town just outside of Jerusalem. Mary, who is a disciple of Jesus, breaks open a very expensive bottle of perfume and pours it all over him. This act of love is criticized by Judas and the other apostles (see John 12:1-4), but pleases Jesus. "She has done a beautiful thing to me." Judas then goes and offers to betray Jesus for payment. He strikes a deal with the chief priests and waits for an opportunity to betray Jesus to them. His payment of 30 pieces of silver fulfills prophecy of how much Jesus would be betrayed for.
We don't go and brazenly ask someone if they will pay us for betraying Jesus, but there are moments in our life that we are tempted to betray Jesus. It's the times we do not follow Jesus in his commands and willfully sin. It's the split second when someone asks what you believe at work or school and you decide to keep it as short as possible, or even lie about it. It is choosing to be completely silent about our faith for fear of retribution, embarrassment, conflict, or loss of friendship, job, etc.
What comparably small amounts we are willing to deny Jesus for! There is a cost to following Jesus, but it does not compare to the love poured out by him on our behalf to bring us into the people of God. The answer to our heart condition isn't doubling down on our will-power, but on fixing our gaze on our Lord and Savior like Mary did. By spending time with Jesus and by experiencing his heart and his power, she was moved to worship him despite the circumstances and danger.
Today, do these three things:
Repent of the times you have betrayed Jesus. There have been times that all Christians have.
Remember how Jesus has shown his love to you
Ask God in prayer to increase your love and devotion for Jesus
Father, Judas betrayed you, but all the apostles denied you, and I recognize that I have too. Your spirit calls me not to despair like Judas did, but to repent like Peter did. As I do, I ask that you would increase my love for Christ. Remind me of the reward that I receive for Jesus' sacrifice, as well as your active work in my life and in the lives around me. In Jesus' name, amen.