When the study started, I prayed that I would be inspired to draw something, or be given an image. I sat and waited for a little while. Darin said something about justice and I got an image of a man holding scales. As I drew it it became more clear, it turned out to be my friend Zach. He was holding scales, in the scales was a heart of flesh that was being out weighted by fruit. After the study I had an opportunity to share the drawing and what the Lord put on my heart about it with Zach. with him. I always get nervous about sharing that stuff with people because I don't want to come off as, "THUS SAITH THEELORD!!" That knee-jerk response is out of fear, not decrement. And fear is never to be reacted out of, so I did my best to die to myself and be bold. And I know and trust Zach, even if I was way off he wouldn't kill me. Long story short we had a great conversation about the drawing. Basically it was an encouragement to Zach that the fruit of the Spirit is abundant in his life right now. At the end of the night he came back up to me and handed me a letter. When I got home to read it I was so blessed. The Lord answered some prayers and questions I had through Zach's letter.
We are going thought a study that will take us up to Easter Sunday titled "Witness' of Christ". Each Sunday is focusing on a person that Christ encountered during the week leading to the crucifixion. So far we have met Mary Magdalene with her unexpected and extravagant manner of worshiping Christ. Encountered the Pharisees and saw how blind their hearts were when what they were looking for was right in front of them. And about 2 weeks ago met the man I am blogging about right now, the betrayer; Judas Iscariot.
For me Judas has been a source of mixed emotions. He was the man who betrayed Christ and then hung himself. I've always wondered why he betrayed Christ? And why he committed suicide and what did his suicide mean? For a long while I would wonder if he even had a choice.
But I realized that we can't really ask the question if he had a choice. We have to assume he did have choice, because we've all had choice, all of us from Eve to Adam to you and me. I truly believe that choice is a primary form that God's love takes in our lives. If we did have the ability to choose we would be incapable of love, and on a side note and slight tangent, that is why addiction is so evil, it mars our ability to choose, but thats a blog for another time so anywho...
I always thought as a child that Judas betrayed Jesus because be was greedy and was supposed to. What I realized in that study, and have been trying to blog about for the last 2 weeks, was that Jesus wasn't what Judas wanted him to be. Judas did not understand how this man was going to establish a new kingdom and he did not submit his understanding to the both the Scripture and the prophet standing in front of him. His pride and vanity stood in the way not allowing him to see Jesus as a true prophet, let alone the Christ and Son of God. Out of what we can assume to be immense frustration and bitterness he turned Jesus in to the authorities. Even after the crucifixion I don't think he recognized Jesus as the Christ. He said that he spilt the blood of an innocent man, not that the Blood of the son of God. I really think this line of thought is supported through the actions Judas took after his admission. He did not seek repentance and redemption, but wallowed in his own remorse incapable, himself, of solving the issue, and I really feel that that desperation and isolation is what opened his heart and mind to suicide.
Basically what I got from this study was that I need to be careful to not allow pride to blind me from seeing how Christ want to work in and through my life. And that there is a world of difference between remorse and repentance.