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The Scriptural Way of the Cross: Station 2

December 23, 2012

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Judas Betrays Jesus.

Over the centuries, people have speculated about Judas and why he betrayed Jesus.  The gospel writers blamed it on greed and the devil.  Others have claimed that it was due to Judas’s disappointment with Jesus.  Still others have speculated that it might have been an attempt to force the Lord’s hand.

What is undisputed is that Judas chose a precious sign of intimacy to betray Jesus to the authorities.  This first act of the Passion—so excruciatingly painful—wasn’t done by the Romans or the Temple hierarchy; it was a deliberate act by one who was near to Jesus.  Those who are closest to us are often the one who can hurt us the worst.

Some of the most painful conflicts in the Holy Land today are the ones between Christian churches—between those who follow the Prince of Peace and claim His name as their own.  Nowhere in the world are Christian divisions more widespread.

In the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (the place traditionally commemorated as the place of Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection), every inch of the building is divided among four different historic Christian churches.  Violence has broken out over even minor trespasses or hints of disrespect.  Many Christian churches are rigidly excluded: Anglicans and Protestant Christians have no place in this sanctuary.  Even the roof is a site of conflict: shut out of the church. Ethiopian Christians have established a monastery there on the roof and warily defend their precarious spot against any tiny encroachments.

There are occasional signs of grace, but all too often, the strife must tear at God’s heart.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

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