Lent • Betrayal Wednesday

“She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Mark 14:8-11 (cf. Matthew 26:12-16)

The Bible is silent about what occurred on the Wednesday before Christ’s death. But from the earliest days of the Church, it’s been speculated that this is the day Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus to them.

Not only do we not know for sure when this meeting took place, but we also don’t know for sure why.

There are many theories:

Maybe Judas was a Zealot who expected the Messiah to lead a violent revolt against Rome but now Jesus taught his followers to “love your enemies” and “turn the other cheek” instead.

Maybe Judas, who was the accountant of the group, expected that being a disciple of the Messiah would make him wealthy like the chief priests, but now he realized that pain was more likely than profit.

• Maybe Judas expected the Messiah to live with him forever, but now he watched a woman pour perfume over Jesus in preparation for his death.

What kind of Messiah helps my enemies, gives me pain and poverty, then dies and leaves me here alone?

Jesus wasn’t the Messiah Judas expected. Things just weren’t going as he hoped they would and believed they should. I’ve been there and so have you.

When my father-in-law lost his battle with depression…

When a pandemic took months of income from me…

When you entered middle-age without a partner…

When the crib sits empty…

When the test comes back positive…

When your abuser doesn’t get justice…

When your child walks away from faith…

God hasn’t always met our expectations either, has he?

Like Judas, in our anger, disappointment, and confusion, we have a choice to make: Betrayal or belief? The Messiah we expected or the Messiah who is?

For Reflection

• In what ways has God not met my expectations?

Our Prayer

God, we believe but help our unbelief.