“While He [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs … Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; seize Him.’ And he came up to Jesus at once and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi’ And he kissed Him. Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you came to do…’” (Matthew 26:47a, 48-50a ESV)
It’s really weird that Judas chose a kiss to indicate the man he intended to betray. Oh, I know that in those days, kissing was the way that you greeted people, much like a handshake today. But still, how could he stand it? To get that close to someone you were handing over to die, actually touching Him—it gives me the creeps.
But human kisses can be like that, aren’t they? So many marriages, so many friendships, even the relationship between parent and child—our love is tinted with betrayal. We break faith, we tell lies, or we just turn cold to the people who depend on us. And we can’t seem to stop it.
Who can help us? Only Jesus. He can take betrayers and remake us as faithful, loving human beings. He can do this miracle because He took all of our faithlessness upon Himself and carried it to the cross. He destroyed it there forever. And now that He has risen from the dead, He offers us the kiss of life—everlasting life, as God’s true and dearly loved children.
We Pray: Lord, give me a faithful heart full of Your love. Amen.
* What does a kiss mean to you?
* What does it feel like when someone betrays you?
* How does it feel to know that Jesus will never, ever let you down?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 21, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved