Reflections: Monday the Seventh Week of Easter

May 22, 2023

Today’s Reading: Acts 1:12-26

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 14:26-45, Luke 18:35-19:10

Acts 1:16: ““Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.”

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What do you say at the funeral of a friend? Judas was numbered with them. Spent 3 years with them. Ate, laughed, and cried with them.  Then he killed himself.  This isn’t just a turning point towards the calling of Matthias, the 12th 2.0.  It’s a loss over what to say in the face of something so awful.  Sometimes there just aren’t’ words. 

The heavy-handed law to anyone considering Judas’ end might look at how they don’t know what to say.  Look at how much work is still left to be done, but now by another.  Look at how little is fixed by this.  There is a field devoted to the tragedy that will never be the same to everyone left. 

It’s so easy to put a better construction on things than they rightly deserve.  Find a reason.  Peter doesn’t do that.  He points to the fulfillment of the scriptures, which don’t deny Judas his sin, but also provide the answer.  The scripture had to be fulfilled.  And it was.  Jesus was betrayed, crucified, and risen.  He ascended to sit upon the throne.  It’s not what Judas’ sin allowed. It’s what God insisted would happen, even for sinners like Judas.  Hope can draw near and exist even when there aren’t words to talk about what happened.  There is forgiveness, life, and salvation for all who believe.  Don’t excuse away actions. Cling to the word of God.  That endures to life, even when yours fall short.Trust in the baptism that saves sinners.  God saves through faith, even battered and broken.  

Then, when you look back to Judas, it can be more than a cautionary tale.  If you look at the darkest funerals you stumble across, they can be stories of commending a fallen brother to the mercy of God, and a chance to look forward to seeing God who saves the sinners still at work in your life and to life everlasting. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O LORD God, Dear Father in Heaven, give to us the Lamb in the midst of the throne to be our shepherd, that He will guide us to springs of living water, and will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Amen.

-Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Jonathan Lackey is an LCMS seminarian.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.