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Lenten Devotion

(Jesus said) "... 'Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me'"
(John 13:21b). 

Read John 13:21-30.

"One of you will betray Me." Judas must be totally shocked by Jesus'
words. One by one the disciples ask a question that floats around the
table. With rising suspense Judas watches the question work its way
around the table to him -- and he even joins his voice to theirs: "Is it I,

If Judas' voice didn't give him away, what Jesus does next will make it
crystal clear. He dips the morsel of bread and hands it directly to Judas.

Have you ever stopped to think about how Jesus turned the tables on
Judas? At this moment the betrayer is at the mercy of the One he was
going to betray. Jesus holds Judas in the palm of His hand. With a word
Jesus can betray Judas to the other disciples, who are armed with a few
swords. Jesus is in complete control; He can betray Judas. Instead, our
Lord sends His betrayer on his way: "What you are going to do, do
quickly." As Judas rushes out from the danger, the other disciples have
no idea what Jesus means.

Which one of us hasn't betrayed another -- gossiping secrets that
should never have been shared or exposing another's shame just to
flatter our own self-righteous pride? How often have we in effect handed
Jesus' over to His enemies by our sinful actions or our silence?

Judas walked out into the darkness. But in this same darkness Jesus will
still reach out to him one last time when Judas leads the soldiers into the
Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Him. Jesus still reaches out to you and
me with hands that bear the mark of the nails.


Lord Jesus, Your steadfast love is amazing to me. Keep reaching out to
bring me back from my sins. Amen. 

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

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