Sun. May 26th, 2024

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Easter for me doesn’t feel complete unless I watch the Passion of Christ or read the crucifixion and resurrection story. And every time I do, I villainize Judas for betraying Jesus. For selling him out to be crucified for only 30 pieces of silver. And I then also cast the blame on Peter for denying Jesus three times. I picture myself in that situation and gloat how I would have never betrayed Christ and in fact, I would have stopped them. But the truth is, we are all Judas and Peter. But we diminish our sins in comparison to theirs because we refuse to look at the cross and see how our transgressions have also pierced Christ just as deeply. Judas did not commit the ultimate sin, for there is no level of least to worst sin. In the eyes of God, a man who curses is not more righteous than a man on trial for murder, all sin is bad as it has wounded Christ all the same. Like some of you, this was a hard pill for me to swallow for we are a part of a society that has added weight to specific crimes and sins.

When God opened my eyes to this, I saw how I, too, have sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and denied him three times. Every time I deliberately chose sin over him or felt embarrassed to testify my salvation in front of others, I betrayed him like Judas and Peter. We are not better than them. 

When Jesus was in Gethsemane, he was troubled and filled with sorrow as he asked God, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…My father if this cannot pass unless I drink it, let your will be done” (Matthew 26:39-42). That spiritual cup he referenced contains our sins, every sin that has been and will be committed. We tend to forget that while Jesus was God, he was also human, he felt fear, sorrow and pain, as we do, nearing his crucifixion. So he asked God if there was another way possible for humanity to receive salvation but if not, he would pay the price for us. He agreed to do so despite knowing that many people would reject his sacrifice.

We were born into sin and because it is inevitable, we will always stumble. The Bible makes clear that the price of sin is death, and that was paid for by Jesus who gave up his life so we could have the gift of eternal life in Heaven. Ephesians 2:9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith in Christ Jesus,” and John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” He considered us so valuable that he died to give us the option to choose if we want eternity in Heaven. It wasn’t the nails that kept Christ on the cross, it was his unconditional love for us — and even for Judas and Peter — that did. This is why we celebrate Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified. 

A few years ago, I struggled a lot to come to terms with my spirituality. Despite historical context proving the existence of Christ, I was still in disbelief. I studied other religions and at a point, I even contemplated rejecting religion as a whole when none resonated with me. But I knew the devil was real because evil polluted the world. And therefore God had to exist because there was good too. I believed that being a good person was enough to get me into Heaven. But then I realized that my standard of good didn’t even measure up to another person’s standard of good, let alone God’s. James 2:10 states, “If we offend his law at one point, we’re guilty of all.” Bill Wiese did a sermon on this that I’ll never forget. He stated on this matter, “Say you went and found the most expensive home in the country and knocked on their door. And you said, excuse me, can I move in with you? I’m a good person. What do you expect the people to say? No, because they don’t know you, you have no relationship with them.” Yet here I was going through life, wanting nothing to do with God, and denied Jesus as the son of God which he said is the only way to his house. And at the end of my life, I had the nerve to think I could just go to Heaven because I thought myself to be a good person. The hard pill I swallowed was that good has nothing to do with it, I didn’t know them. We are all God’s creation but we first have to accept Christ as our Lord and savior to be children of God. That is the relationship aspect I was missing. So my question for you is, have you accepted His gift? And above all, always remember how much Christ loves you! The proof is on the cross.

 


Perpetual Kahindo is a third-year Political Science major. PK973548@wcupa.edu

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