Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.– Matthew 26:14-16
This bit of scripture paints a picture of a greedy man sneaking about for the opportunity to make a quick buck. Stop and think. Judas was nothing more than a known CI – a confidential informant. Today an informant is paid for their information, be it cash or some consideration. The same as Judas was. Granted, informants provide law enforcement with vital information that helps build a case against criminals. As far as the Jewish Leaders of the time were concerned, Jesus was a criminal. As for the amount paid, 30 pieces of sliver was not much. Today any amount of silver seems like a lot. Silver was the coin of the day. Think of it as change. They paid him in change. Once upon a time quarters contained silver. Thirty quarters would amount to $7.50. Does that help to put the payment into perspective?
Why the kiss? After all, the Jews throughout Jerusalem knew who Jesus was. That night, there was a full moon, so the garden was well-lit. But it wasn’t a group of Jews who came to take him away. It was Roman Soldiers who might not be familiar with Jesus. As far as they were concerned, he was some lowly Jew. Judas was paid for two things. The first was to convenience the authorities that Jesus was a threat to their control, that his ministry somehow violated Roman Occupational Law. Then it was necessary for him to identify the criminal from the other Jews gathered in the garden that night.
The faithful Christians see Judas as less than human. We are filled with rage and hatred. Yet Judas should not be viewed as the bad guy. First, remember Jesus picked the twelve to make up the inner circle of his ministry. Each for a particular reason. Judas was hand picked for the purpose of betrayal. Without his betrayal, there would be no death on the cross and no resurrection, no forgiveness of sin, no life ever lasting. It’s that simple. Judas fulfilled his calling.
It’s not always easy to see good in the face of evil. Yet it is always there. God’s saving grace never leaves us. When we honor Holy Wednesday, we acknowledge the necessity of what will follow. Just as when someone we love dies, we feel that loss for ourselves, yet we know that there is life after death and reason to rejoice despite our pain.
Wednesday of Holy Week is pivotal in His three-year ministry. Tomorrow Christ will gather with the twelve for the very last time as they celebrated Passover in the upper room.
Today is also National Peach Cobbler Day. While this recipe is super simple made with canned peaches and a buttermilk biscuit mix, you could always use sweet fresh peaches instead. If you go the fresh peach route, you’ll need to peel the peaches before slicing. That’s easy enough if you want the extra work. Or use good quality canned peaches in natural juices. Less work with similar results. Enjoy
Beautifully Simple Peach Cobbler
1 (29 oz) can sliced Peaches in Natural Juices
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Bisquick Mix
1 cup Milk
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup Sugar
Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Drain sliced peaches, set aside. Melt butter, set aside.
In an 8-inch square baking dish, stir Bisquick mix, milk, nutmeg and cinnamon together until thoroughly mixed. Drizzle with melted butter, stir to incorporate into the crust mix.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir sugar and peaches together. Spoon peaches over the cobbler crust.
Bake in the heated oven for about an hour or crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.