So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The world likes to think it lives by the philosophy of “do whatever you want as long as you don't hurt someone else.” The world likes to think that it values “diversity” and “different viewpoints.” The world likes to claim that “truth is relative and it is whatever you believe and whatever works for you.” But if that were so, people wouldn't be religious just so they could hurt others.
Think of it! These people went to Jesus and acted like they wanted to be His disciples, like they were interested in His teaching just so they could get close to Him and find an excuse to get Him killed! It was clear they wouldn't get Him on any religious grounds so maybe if He slipped up with respect to the Romans, he could get handed over as a troublemaker!
It might surprise us to think people could go to church or be a Christian just to get something out of it other than forgiveness and eternal life. But then, why are you a Christian? Do you suppose that you would never betray Jesus? The truth is, even though we're disciples of Jesus, we want there to be something in it for us. Worldly glory, self-flattery, anything that makes us look better. Even if it means faking our religion!
So Jesus came for that, too. And remember, in the end it wasn't one of these posers that turned Jesus in, it was Judas, one of His closest apostles! There's our repentance. Just because we're Christians doesn't mean we somehow are less a sinner than others.
But in Christ, who was betrayed willingly for all people, such sin is blotted out. Forgotten by God. Wiped out by the suffering and death of the One who was betrayed. Then Easter. Jesus is alive. The life of sin and death has been thrown down. New life for you by new birth at the font. Eternal life for you by the forgiveness and Body and Blood of the Savior. Easter is the greatest reminder in this life that our Lord's work on Calvary accomplished our salvation and gives us life everlasting, along with rescuing us from such a religion of ourselves. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Let all our lives now celebrate The feast; let malice die. Let love grow strong anew, and great, Let truth stamp out the lie. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Again Sing alleluia, cry aloud: Alleluia! Amen! (LSB 473:2)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.