Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. – Matthew 26:14-16

Sacrifice of Praise. Even when Judas is in the midst. We oftentimes talk about how Jesus examples for us what it looks like to be one of his followers and that is true in this chapter of scripture as well. This chapter begins with Jesus telling of his coming death. The religions leaders gather to plot how to destroy Jesus. This information is placed right in the midst of this chapter as Jesus begins to prepare for the Passover.

In the midst of the celebration of the Passover, Judas in his mind is plotting how to handover Jesus to the chief priests. In the midst of a time of remembering the sacrifice made so that the children of Israel would be safe from the spirit of death that came upon Egypt, Judas plots the death of the Lamb of God. They were celebrating the Passover, which was an Old Covenant observation. Jesus was showing them now the “Passover” celebration that would be part of the New Covenant.

Our sins are covered and then the spirit of death passes over us because we are under the doorpost that has been covered by the blood of the lamb. This Lamb is Jesus and the doorpost that has been covered is the doorpost to our hearts. So Jesus sets in motion the new observation of Communion, of remembrance of His sacrifice that came to all people to keep us safe from the death penalty of sin when it comes passing through the land.

An important things for us to see is even though there was one in the midst that had come to destroy, Jesus did not stop his purpose of observing the Old remembrance and installing the New one. He did not let the devil in the midst stop him from honoring His Father.

The example is the same for us. Even when we find ourselves in situations where there is a Judas among us that is seeking to destroy us, we must continue to be about our Father’s business. And part of that business is praising and honoring him. Jesus made a sacrifice of praising His Father even when there was one that he knew would betray him. How many of us can continue to stay focused, when we know someone or something is about to destroy us? It would not be easy to do. We would want to defend ourselves, or expose the situation. Yet, that isn’t our responsibility (unless God tells us to). Instead our responsibility is to continue to offer up our sacrifices of praise unto the king.

Today I pray for us that we continue to offer up our sacrifices of praise even in the midst of our own situations that seem to be waiting to destroy us. Let us continue to focus on and remember the gift of the blood. Let us focus on the lamb that was slain and let God handle the Judas’ amongst us.