Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.
As I start to think about exactly what in the world was going through Judas’ head, I start to realize that I’m not too far off from where he was. Thirty pieces of silver. That’s it. Just thirty pieces of silver. Put yourself in Judas’ shoes with me. I would love to think that I wouldn’t let anything get in the way of me standing up for Christ, but sadly, Judas and I – we aren’t too different. Maybe you don’t have trouble with boldly proclaiming you’re a Christian. But what about those things you do in secret? The times that your old self comes back to haunt you and you play along. You think to yourself, “Just how far can I go?” Just like Judas, thirty pieces of silver was worth it. You and I can replace thirty pieces of silver with anything that keeps us from growing closer to Christ.
Do you think Judas thought twice about the decision he made to betray Jesus? I do. He knew exactly what he was doing. Again, just like us. When we walk off course, we know what we are doing is not pleasing to the Lord. When we choose to love ourselves rather than to love Jesus, we become just like Judas.
Were the 2 hours you spent watching that movie worth it? What about the 2.5 minute vulgar song you listened to this morning? Or that second look at the guy who caught your eye the other day? Was it all worth it?
We are guilty of betraying Christ to only gain temporary satisfaction. Day after day, we choose to forget our heavenly calling. We choose to settle for thirty pieces of silver instead of living the abundant life with Jesus. We are guilty of loving life without Jesus. What we don’t understand is that there is no life without Jesus.
If only Judas knew what was coming just a few hours later. If only he knew that this Man he betrayed would have died a death He didn’t deserve. And we, just like Judas, don’t know either. We have no clue what the Lord has in store for our lives. We can’t see all that He has planned for us because He loves us.
The decisions we make today matter.
Elisabeth Elliot once wrote, “Obedience today prepares us for obedience tomorrow.” The decisions we make today to serve and love the Lord, to be in His presence and to choose Him above all else will prepare us for what’s to come.
Let go of the thirty pieces of silver, which you are holding on to today. You don’t want to be caught with that silver in your hand on that fast-approaching day when we will stand before our Lord.
Choose obedience. Choose Jesus.