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Lenten Devotion

(Jesus said) "For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined,
but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" (Luke 22:22).

Read Mark 15:17-21.

The sin Judas is plotting is not unforgiveable, but he has spent
days plotting his betrayal. With each passing hour he pushes
Jesus further and further out of his heart.

But Jesus clings to Judas. He strives now, before the act, to stir
Judas' conscience; to help him see the horror of what he is about to
do. Better to bring him to repentance here and now, where Jesus
can assure him that he is forgiven and at peace, than wait until after
the fact when the chief priests turn a deaf ear to him
(see Matthew 27:3-4).

If Judas repents and turns from this sin, he will in no way jeopardize
God's plan of salvation. Once Jesus has prayed in the Garden of
Gethsemane, He will be willing to turn Himself over to those who
seek His life. Jesus will go to the cross and death as the Father has

The Lord can give no stronger warning than His words, "Woe to that
man by whom He is betrayed." Woe is a word that foreshadows the
agony and desolation of hell. Jesus clearly points out Judas' guilt in
choosing this course-and reveals the end of this sad road if Judas will
not repent and seek his Lord's forgiveness.

Our Savior's unfailing love is incredible. Even at the moment of the
betrayal in the garden, He will try once more to bring Judas to
repentance and faith. But in love God never forces us to repent and
believe. He holds out the free offer of grace, forgiveness and eternal
life, but He gives Judas, you and me the freedom to walk away, even
to our own eternal destruction.


Lord Jesus, forgive my stubborn waywardness, and bring me to
repentance, faith and salvation. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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