with a kiss
April 19, 2011
First, let me say how beautiful of a day we had on Palm Sunday! I'm not simply speaking of the weather, but also of our time together in church. Now as we enter Easter week, I'm spending a lot of time reading the Gospel accounts of all that took place in that week that saved the world from sin. One of the most moving, infuriating, and captivating scenes in the Easter events is the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was in the middle of speaking to His disciples about all that was about to happen to Him, challenging them to have prayed with Him instead of sleeping, and the soldiers came to arrest Jesus. The part of the story that I was struck by today again is the chilling way Judas calmly walked up to Jesus and said, "Rabbi," and then kissed Jesus on the cheek (which was a common greeting in earlier days of Christ, and still is in many countries). It was not even a random kiss. Judas earlier told the soldiers that the person he kissed was Jesus. I know we are all sinners, but that whole scene of betrayal is shocking. What I found incredible was Jesus' response to Judas; you see a little of Christ's humanity come out as He looked right into Judas' eyes and said, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" Yes, Jesus knew Judas was His betrayer, but I think Jesus was even a little shocked by the manner in which Judas identified Christ to the Soldiers - "with a kiss." Incredible, isn't it? I'm not even sure what the moral of the story is in this, which my kids tell me is OK because apparently not everything needs to have a moral of the story point, but ultimately I think we all will have our own application of betrayal "with a kiss."