How did you cope with the time change?
For those of my readers who are wondering what I am on about, in the UK last weekend we moved our clocks forward one hour to British Summer Time. Twice a year we go through the ritual “Spring Forward, Fall Back”.
I always struggle for a few days whether forwards or backwards, it takes me a few days to adjust my thinking.
It’s interesting that, this year, the date fell on the start of Holy Week. This got me thinking more and more about time and one particular character, Judas Iscariot. I am not going to give you a biography of Judas but just a couple of quick things to note. Firstly, he was the keeper of the common purse who was helping himself to the disciples funds (John 12 vs. 6). Secondly, he was to betray Jesus (John 18 vs. 1 – 11).
Judas is often portrayed as the villain of the piece. For those of us who have been betrayed by those close to us, Judas has become a name to be used for anger or insult “you Judas!” we say (albeit not verbally). When it comes to choosing names for children, Judas is never going to feature in anyone’s top ten.
The final thing we know about Judas is, he took his own life. He killed himself.
I wonder how Judas actually felt. Perhaps he began his journey with Jesus full of hopes and dreams. Maybe he was full of enthusiasm and a keen follower to begin with. Maybe, he was full of wonder at the miracles and never missed an opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus to hear the parables and soak up the teaching. The other disciples must have thought he was fairly trustworthy after all they gave him the common purse to look after.
Somewhere along the line, things began to go a little wrong. Maybe it was the pressure of debt. Maybe it was the responsibility of home. Maybe he had only meant to borrow it but, somehow the money began to find its way from the common purse, to his private purse. Perhaps he fully intended to pay it back but, it just never seemed to happen. The other disciples would have trusted him less. Let’s face it, John says he was helping himself and if John knew it, you could guarantee it that the others were aware.
Finally, for 30 pieces of silver (yes, again it’s the money) Judas agrees to betray Jesus. He has now left the league of petty pilferers and entered the big league. The guys he was now dealing with would expect their pound of flesh (quite literally). There was no going back.
I wonder if, as Judas stood on the brink of taking his own life, he just simply wished he could turn the clock back.
I know, in my life, I have often wished the same. I wish I had not done certain things, if only I could turn the clock back then….
I wish I had approached that situation differently or responded differently or….
But, I guess, I am not the only one.
Regret is a very powerful emotion and feeling.
Sometimes, in the face of our regrets, we feel as though we are completely powerless. That our past has a great hold over our present and, ultimately our future. But, I don’t believe that it has to be this way. Our past can be forgiven and used to help build our future. Our mistakes do not have to have the last word.
One thing I have been thinking about, is that if Judas had gone to Jesus and asked forgiveness, He would have received it at any time.
In those early days, when the money was just a “short term fix”. In the middling days when there was no way he could pay back what he had taken. Even at the last minute itself. God puts no time limit on His forgiveness.
For me too? Yes, even me with my regrets, I too can find God’s forgiveness.
And you? Well now, that gives you something to ponder about doesn’t it?