Judas turned Jesus over for 30 pieces of silver and we act appalled don’t we. We ask how could he do that for just 30 pieces of silver? Jesus was the Son of God, and just 30 pieces of silver to turn him over to the Chief Priest?? How could he do that??
Image if you had someone famous you were hanging out with like a leader of a country, better yet maybe Pope Francis. You have listened to every word that they speak in wonder and awe. You have spent 3 years learning from them, eating and sleeping, walking the land and watching them do things that can only be called a miracle. But they are making a certain fringe group upset and they want to stop him and his policies. They approach you and say, “I will pay you to let me know when that person will be alone so we can meet with him.” For that they offer you some money for your time, not a lot but enough to make it tempting. Now this scenario is a bit of a stretch but do we sell out our Lord for even less?
What about that day you were mad at someone at work and happened to mention a minor incident to a coworker who then told a supervisor? What about that time you picked something up at the store and even though you knew what it was suppose to cost, through a slipup you either did not get charged or were not charged the proper amount? Did you bring it to the store’s attention so you could properly pay for it? What about that Sunday morning, you woke up on time but were just too tired to get out of bed to go to church? What about when you were picking on someone that was defenseless? I am sure all of us can think of times we are not proud of. We all are guilty of selling out our Lord in some way or fashion, maybe not for 30 pieces of silver, maybe, possibly, for even less than that?
At the beginning of this I mentioned that maybe for the sake of this article you were hanging out with someone famous. How would you treat them? Would you be in awe? Would you honor them in some way? Give them a gift of thanks for spending time with you? The chances of us meeting someone famous and spending an extended amount of time with them is pretty slim. I might even say it is unlikely.
But guess what you CAN spend some time with Christ our Lord, any day you want, any time you want. He is in any Catholic Church, body and blood, soul and divinity, in the Tabernacle. Jesus is there in the real presence. Do we treat him with the honor and attention we would if a countries Leader or our Holy Father Pope Francis walked into the room? Do we enter the church with the reverence we should?
Christ endured tremendous suffering so that we can be forgiven of our sins and to open the gates of Heaven. Remember reading about the scourging before his crucifixion? Remember his walk to Golgotha? Remember his being nailed to the cross?
Christ is tied to a post, his clothes ripped off of him exposing his flesh to the soldier’s whip. But not just any whip, this one had pieces of bone and rock at the end of each string. The whip is at the hand of a professional at this business. With each crack of the whip his flesh is torn, his back and sides are ravaged. Each time the whip strikes Christ, it is as if he takes on one of our sins to himself and he forgives us. And now to mock him further they create a crown of thorns, These Thorns are long and hard, and when the crown is pushed down on his head the thorns pierce his skin. Blood flows down his face running into his eyes. Oh Lord, I am so sorry for all the pain I have cost you, I am sorry that it is my sins that have torn your flesh. The long walk begins, he has not slept for so many hours he cannot count, and he is suffering from the loss of blood. The skin and muscles on his back and sides are torn and shredded, now they have laid the weight of his cross on him. Can you feel it? The pain is incredible, he can barely walk on flat ground, but he much go down many cobblestone steps and then back up on a cobblestone steps. A long high climb made more difficult by the weight of the cross. Each step is unbearable. He falls 3 times. He has to walk through the marketplace, the streets are narrow, and people mock him and spit at him. These are the same people not 5 days earlier that waved palm branches welcoming him into the great city. How quickly they turned on him. Even one of his special followers denied him 3 times. He is there, finally reaching his destination, the place of his death, on Golgotha, he lays down on his cross. The soldiers take spikes and drive them through his arms and legs. Can you imagine the pain of having an iron spike driven through your wrists and ankles? Each pounding of the hammer head on a spike sends a pain throughout your body. They then raise you up, your cross is vertical now, and just to breathe you must push down on your feet sending more pain throughout your body because of the nails in your feet. Each breath you take is an experience of incredible pain. You look below you, there stands your mother and friends. This is not what they expected, they do not understand how in 5 days you can go from hero to this. They don’t understand that this is just why you came into this world.
Am I sorry for my sins? Do I truly want to change and follow Christ? How many times have I left Church supporting and praising only to turn my back and deny you in the secular world we live in? How about those who are the least in our eyes, are we truly our brother’s keeper as we have been taught by Christ? Can I do better? Oh dear Lord Jesus Christ, you endured more than I can imagine in your crucifixion and death, and you did it for me. What can I do that would ever earn that which you have given me? Can I live my life in your service? Can I accept your teachings and not argue about them? Can I accept that these same teachings are as true and valuable today as they were 2,000 years ago?
Maybe we should go and give thanks, thank him for all of his suffering to remove our sins and give us a chance to a Heavenly reward.
I would think his suffering was worth at least 30 pieces of silver don’t you?