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48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him." 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. 50 But Jesus said to him, "Friend, why have you come?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.
"Jesus will never love anyone like me."
"Jesus won't forgive me this time."
"Does the Lord really care about me?"
"I can never forgive them for what they did to me."
These are all things we have said or felt at one time or another.
We tend to forget how loving and compassionate the Lord really is.
In today's devotional verses this is where Judas was betraying Jesus to the Jews, and to show them who Jesus was, he gave them a sign being the one he greeted with a kiss would be the one they were to take away.
As we all know, Judas walked up to Jesus and kissed him as a sign of friendship and betrayal.
But one thing we seem to overlook is that fact that AFTER, Judas kissed Jesus, what Jesus' words to him were.
"Friend, why have you come?"
The very first word out of Jesus' mouth to His betrayer was "Friend."
Why would Jesus do such a thing?
Why didn't Jesus turn to Judas and start calling him names and rebuking him for what he had done?
Very simply put, because of love!
We all see how bad the world has gotten and we know it's not going to get any better. We pray that the Lord would come and take us home right now and get us out of this sinful place that brings us down.
So why hasn't the Lord come to take His church home yet? Love!
If the Lord came back for His church five years ago, would you have gone up to heaven with them?
But because of the Lord's love for you and others, He waits patiently, even knowing there are those who will mock Him and even betray Him. But because of His love for His creation, He wants to give everyone an opportunity to repent and turn to His Son Jesus.
Jesus was giving Judas that same opportunity, the difference is that Judas chose to reject it and couldn't believe that the Lord would forgive someone like him for what he did.
The end result was that Judas hanged himself and died in his sin.
So next time you don't feel like the Lord has not forgiven you or that He would never love someone like you, remember that Jesus called Judas friend after Judas betrayed Jesus.
How much more will Jesus call you friend as you repent and turn or return to Him!