“I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,” says a despairing Judas in our Lenten text. “There is still time to turn around,” is Christ’s promise. “My blood is being poured out for your black crime too. Judas, there is no deed so dark, no memory of yesterday so monstrous that I have not paid the penalty, no sin so shocking that I have not buried it in the ocean of My love.”
Sadly, Judas rejects the innocent blood that was poured out for him too. He despairs of Christ’s mercy, shakes off the loving hand of Christ upon his guilty brow and cuts off any retreat for his own soul.
Yes, there is a Judas in each of us. But there is also a Savior for all of us. For hearts like yours and mine that burn with shame because we too have so often sold out and betrayed Him, a new day dawns, a new life. The clouds part. The sun shines. He calls you and me by name too, invites us into His arms again, offers His nail-pierced hands in friendship again, points us to His cross and empty grave, puts a song in our hearts and on our lips:
Chief of sinners though I be,
Jesus shed His blood for me;
Died that I might live on high,
Lived that I might never die,
As the branch is to the vine,
I am His, and He is mine.
Oh, the height of Jesus’ love!
Higher than the heavens above,
Deeper than the depths of sea,
Lasting as eternity.
Love that found me–wondrous thought!–
Found me when I sought Him not.