Today is a day in the church calendar that’s is packed full of emotions. We have the last supper, Judas’s betrayal, Peter’s denial, and the arrest of Jesus. It also leaves us with lots of questions. Did Jesus work out with Judas the betrayal beforehand, and did he forgive Judas? Did Peter ever forgive himself for denying Christ? Why was Judas such the bad guy and Peter the hero? The list is long.
I suspect my friend Luis never ran out of sermon material on this day. I know for myself, the whole concept of betrayal makes me uneasy. We have all betrayed. We all wish we could have a do over in many aspects or our life, and like Judas have contemplated the idea that we shouldn’t go on living. When we read about this day it goes straight to our heart.
What makes this day bearable in human history is forgiveness. Christ forgave Peter and he went on to be the foundation of the church and a saint. I believe God forgave Judas either on earth or in heaven, and actually apologized for the place Judas has in history. Jesus forgave everyone involved in the terrible torture and murder of himself.
Today is not just a day of betrayal and humanity sinking to its lowest, it is also the day where Jesus taught us all the ultimate lesson — forgive and you will be forgiven.