NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

Jesus understands what it feels like to be misunderstood, mocked, persecuted, abused, belittled, and hunted down.  But I think the one thing that hurt Him so deeply was betrayal.  Betrayal is particularly gut wrenching when it is inflicted by those closest to us.  Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve hand-picked disciples who walked with and was taught by Jesus for three years.  Others followed Jesus, yet the twelve apostles were in His innermost circle.  They were trained to carry on the mission of spreading the Gospel after Jesus departed to heaven.

Jesus was not surprised by Judas’ behavior for He knows all and sees all.  Even Jesus choosing Judas shows His indescribable obedience to the will of the Father.  The will that provided the opportunity for us to accept salvation.  However; the other eleven disciples had been duped.  John chapter 13:21, 22 NIV says, “After He had said this (speaking of how He would be betrayed), Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, ‘Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray Me’.  His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them He meant.”

Judas was not a stranger to living a life of deception.  That reinforces the saying that one lie leads to another.  Judas lied so much that he mastered it.  The truth was that lying mastered him.  Judas fooled others, but Jesus was never fooled.  John 12:4-6 tells us about Judas objecting to the woman who poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet because it could have been sold and the money given to the poor.  Jesus knew Judas was lying because we are told that Judas did not care about the poor, but was a thief as keeper of the money bag to which he regularly helped himself.

Of course Satan was pleased by all of this sin, but could not see God’s plan and purpose in spite of it.  This grand plan would bring salvation to the world.  God has a plan for our pain too-in spite of our own sins or the sins committed against us by others.  While we are not Jesus, the Savior of the world, nothing is impossible for God with His power, authority, and purpose for our lives.  Our obedience to God’s plan in our lives will accomplish more than we could imagine.

Judas’ betrayal of Jesus resulted in great suffering and death, BUT…then His resurrection resulting in our NEW LIFE.  Most of us have been betrayed at some point in our lives in varying degrees.  Just like Jesus, it s not the finale.  It becomes the catalyst for a new beginning; a NEW YEAR if you will.  The greater plan and purpose designed by God for His glory gives new hope and new life to others.  It is so much bigger than you!  Now is the time to arise and shine, for your light has come-Isaiah 60:1.  HAPPY NEW YEAR, HAPPY NEW YOU.