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Theme of the Week: Holy Week: Choosing the Cross
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Key Bible Verse: "I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me." (John 15:15, CEV)

Dig Deeper: Matthew 26:47-50

The disciples called him Lord, Master, Rabbi, the Christ. Jesus called them simply "friends." He urged them to "love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:12, NIV).

But that night in Gethsemane, the disciples' love for Jesus was not apparent. They dozed off rather than keep him company during his agonizing vigil. Peter was soon to prove disloyal. And the one disciple who hadn't been present in the garden earlier turned from friend to betrayer—and sealed his betrayal with a kiss.

As Jesus returns to the cluster of sleeping disciples for the final time, the clatter of armor suddenly breaks the silence. Soldiers and temple guards march up, holding torches aloft and wielding swords and clubs. Then, as the startled disciples watch, Judas steps forward.

"Greetings, Rabbi," he says, and leans to kiss Jesus.

"Friend," Jesus replies, "do what you came for." (See Dig Deeper.)

In the Israel of that time, a kiss of greeting was a sign of honor and trust, but in the centuries since, a Judas kiss has come to stand for the worst kind of deception. I wonder: Compared to the whips, thorns, and nails that were to come, was the kiss of a friend the worst violence of all?

—Michael Card in A Violent Grace

My Response: In what ways have I been betrayed? In what ways have I betrayed Christ?

Thought to Apply: If we have been betrayed by someone close to us … our first response should be to cry out to Jesus who loves us, pursues us, and intimately understands the reality of that betrayal.—Drew Randle (Christian educator)

Adapted from A Violent Grace by Michael Card (IVP, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Thank you, suffering Redeemer, for paying the price for my sin. ... And through me, in some small or large way today, bring your priceless redemption to others.—Michael Card

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Jon tack

April 22, 2014  7:51am

This spiritual journey is a roller coaster. Climbing high towards heaven and then temptation rears it's evil root and catches us and we quickly dive down the wrong direction. The great thing about Christs' forgiveness is the longer we search out God each day, the greater and longer the uphill elevation goes and the less drop we seem to experience. Thank you father for always being there with arms wide open waiting to accept me again no matter what mistake I make.

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Curt Schleicher

April 15, 2014  8:03am

My betrayals of Christ far outweigh in number and proportion, any betrayals I may have encountered in my life's journey. I betray Christ with every sinful thought that passes through my mind. The cost for my sin, Jesus' life, I am thankful for every day, and yet sin creeps in again and again and again, like a stubborn weed, that I rip from my life. Only to discover a piece remaining that I need to confess. Thank you, dear Lord, for bringing them into your light so that they may be exposed for their true value to me---utter garbage! My new life, I breathe from you, is invaluable and priceless by comparison. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

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William Andrew Wilson

April 15, 2014  7:39am

Kinda like Hilter changing the real meaning of what we call the swastika.

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