Wed, Apr 16, 2014
In the one-year lectionary, the reading for Holy Wednesday is Luke 22:1–23:56. Again, we will focus on just a small portion of this reading.
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of a crowd (Luke 22:3–6 ESV).
Yesterday we reflected on the woman who saw the priceless treasure that Jesus was, and who proclaimed through her gift of costly perfume that Jesus would die and rise again for the sins of the world. Today we have a huge contrast in Judas, who sees only the treasures of this world and who, under the devil’s prodding, betrays Jesus to the chief priests and officers. He offers the life of the priceless treasure for the promise of money.
But in the end, it’s not Judas who hands over the life of the priceless treasure. He is only a tool, a sort of stooge, in God’s work to bring about our salvation. Sure, Judas gives the kiss of betrayal which points Jesus out, but it is not Judas who hands over Jesus’ life. That Jesus does Himself. Before Judas can get to Him, Jesus arises to meet him and his mob of soldiers, and identifies Himself: “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss” (Luke 22:48)? No, it’s not Judas who hands over the life of the priceless treasure he cannot recognize. Rather, Jesus Himself lays down His life for you and for me, willingly and boldly, because that is what He came to do.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, we thank and praise You for Your willing, even joyful, sacrifice for us. We ask that You would continuously remind us of it so that we may live in the joy, peace, and hope that it brings; in Your Name we pray. Amen.
Lord God, Heavenly Fatherly, You are the Creator and Sustainer of all life, we ask You to be with all expectant mothers to keep them and their children safe and healthy. Keep all babies in Your tender care, and bring them safely to the waters of Holy Baptism. We thank and praise You for the gift of life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
“Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross. Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen” (Collect of the Day for Holy Wednesday, 1-year lectionary. Found in: The Commission on Worship of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Lutheran Service Book: Altar Book, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006, 881).
- Read the reflection for Holy Tuesday.
- Read the reflection for Holy Monday.
- Read the reflection for Palm Sunday.