Crucify Him

Happy Friday!

Not too often ago I heard a quick sermon and a passage the pastor quickly mentioned was  Matthew 27:3-5

” Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.  And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.”

This shocked me. For some reason, I have never realized that Judas changed his mind. I always thought he had hanged himself out of fear. But nope, Judas Iscariot rejected what he had indeed offered up the life of his Rabbi for. What would have happened if he had not hung himself? If he had waited until Jesus rose? If he had seeked forgiveness. He would have been forgiven. That was kind of Jesus’ thing. Forgive someone of the same offense 70×70 times.

It’s shocking, but I was Judas. We exchange our Savior, Teacher, and Rescuer for silver. Not physically, but spiritually, with our souls and our hearts, and that is far more important The chilling song “Crucify Him” by Shane & Shane encaptures exactly who we are apart from Christ.

“I sing, “Hosanna!” when I want it all.
Then I crucify the Son of God.
Cause He isn’t who I always thought.
Not what I want, but what I needed.
I sing, “How great and mighty is the King!”
Just as long as He considers me
High above every other thing.
Even His glory.

Broken like a record.
Spinning round and round
Like a hurricane.
I pour out water then I disappear.
Reappearing when I fear enough,
Or need a touch from You.
I sing, “Hosanna!” once again
Then I say, “Crucify Him!”

It’s packaged differently than Pharisees.
Wrapped in sing-a-longs and Christianese.
Empty hallelujahs to the King.
When my heart is loving idols.
A man of sorrows acquainted with grief,
He had no form; He had no majesty.
How could He have the audacity
To ask me to give Him my tomorrow?

Broken like a record.
Spinning round and round
Like a hurricane.
I pour out water then I disappear.
Reappearing when I fear enough,
Or need a touch from You.
I sing, “Hosanna!” once again
Then I say, “Crucify Him!”

Forgiveness,
Forgiveness and love.”

The fact is, the only difference between us and Judas Iscariot is Christ’s forgiveness. Rather than seeking justice, we have to humbly seek His face, His restitution, His substitution, but not on our own merit. We often will easily accept forgiveness when we feel we have earned it. “God can forgive me because it has been 2 weeks since I have done anything bad, and I have promised to read my Bible everyday.” How hollow, broken, and flimsy! We are missing the fact that seeking God’s forgiveness is infact based on us recognizing that we are completely incapable of pleasing Him apart from Christ, of crying out, “Oh, God! I need your Son’s sacrifice even to draw near to you because I am broken; wash me, cleanse me, create in me a new heart.” Realizing that that new heart comes about through a relationship with Him, a reliance on Him; learning who He is and running to Him with every sorrow, burden, and joy your heavy heart holds. Truly setting Him up as your Lord, your everything. That means allowing Him to change your life. We see in John 21, Jesus’ interactiong with Peter. The Peter who had hidden while Jesus lay in the tomb, the same Peter who had cursed His name.

“Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”  (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him,“Follow me.”

Jesus’ solution for our sinful hearts is to have us draw near to Him. Wow. When we are in sin, let us not continue acting as Judas, let us not think that we have created a separation that is either too wide to be fixed, or think that we must fix the separation apart from Him. Let our sin, our weaknesses, our brokeness cause us to draw nearer and nearer to Christ. When we have only a proper view of ourselves, we are driven to despair, but when that knowledge is paired with a proper view of Christ, it becomes joyous, and cause for daily celebration. So, let’s be real humans who expose our hidden realness and shout how we have been rescued from ourselves, changed, and loved with abandon. Let’s celebrate.

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