“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Yesterday, we looked at Judas’ dramatic yet simple betrayal of Jesus, by a kiss; a damning sign of false affection. Yet Jesus’ response to Judas completely blows the mind of the reader and shows us exactly what Jesus was like; what our God is like. Jesus says to Judas ‘My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for’1 Isn’t that an astounding statement. Even in those words, the love and grace of a merciful God flows so freely.
Jesus could have easily turned round and caused a raucous, screaming and shouting ‘JUDAS, how could you betray Me. You know who I am. I have loved you and taught you and blessed you!’ One would think these words would be a reasonable response from a man who was just betrayed by one of His twelve closest friends (Jesus was 100% human too, as well as 100% God). Yet Jesus didn’t say that at all. Instead, like a humble lamb led to the slaughter, He purposefully and sacrificially allowed Himself to be arrested and accept the betrayal by Judas.
Jesus showed us that He was freely laying down His life, as the greatest act of love, for people just like Judas; people who didn’t do anything to gain God’s love and favour, but were freely given it. We too are radically loved, by the sacrificial death of our Lord. His life was the greatest act of love, not only shown by His words to Judas, but throughout history, to us and to all mankind. Our choice – to accept it or reject it!