"Kiss of Judas" painting by Ilya Glazunov

Today: Proverbs 6:30-35; Mark 14:43-72; Leviticus 19 & 20

Mark 14

Judas Kiss

Jesus was betrayed by one from His inner circle of friends. He was betrayed with a kiss and an endearing greeting of “Rabbi!” Jesus had never been violent yet they came with clubs and swords to arrest Him in the dark of night.

When they questioned Jesus in the high priest’s courtyard, they could find no legitimate grievance against Him so they brought in false witnesses instead. The enemy will stop at nothing to destroy the truth. He will march out lies, clubs and swords, in the dark of night.

Jesus said nothing until the high priest asked Him directly, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” (v.61)

Jesus responded, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (v.62)

In the end it was the TRUTH that they killed him for… not the lies or false testimonies. It is the TRUTH that most stings Satan like acid in the face. It is the TRUTH that Satan calls “blasphemy.” He is still screaming “BLASPHEMY!” at Jesus today… from the lips of our news reporters, our music and Hollywood stars, our political leaders… Still they condemn Jesus, spit on Him, beat Him with their fists, slap Him in the face, and mock Him.

So many of us are Peter, fearful, cowering, denying, going along with the flow so as not to offend, so as not to be ridiculed, so as to be accepted. But the world will always be offended by the TRUTH.

May WE stand strong for the TRUTH. May we understand the gravity of our own sin. May we understand our own desperate need for a Savior. May we be grieved and weep with Peter when the rooster crows…

Detail of "Parshat Nitzavin," (2013-2016) by illustrator Darius Gilmont of Israel, a colorful giclée print portrait of the Jewish people from the Book of Deuteronomy.

Leviticus 19-20

All the crazy laws continue. God was still proving His point. He tells them, “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” (v.2) Okay technically that is true since it is future tense. We can ‘be holy’ through the coming sacrifice of Jesus. However the Israelites had no idea of that at the time. This was why all that blood splattering and smearing was needed BECAUSE we will NEVER be holy on our own… BECAUSE we desperately need a perfect holy Savior to be holy for us… BECAUSE JESUS.

Many of these laws sound so strange to us today (for example: “you shall not round off the hairline of your heads, nor trim the edges of your beard…” (v.19:27) and others…) because they reference specific cultural practices of their neighboring gentiles. God called the Israelites to be separate from the rest of the world.

Satan rules this world. Even today the world follows their evil leader. Variations of all their Israelites’ neighbors’ wicked practices exist today. Molech, the god who required child sacrifice, is obviously very alive and powerful today. All the warped sexual practices obviously still permeate every corner of our culture.

God did not want the Israelites to embrace any part of the world’s corrupting evil practices. God had “singled [them] out from the peoples to be [His].” (v.20:26) Today we are also singled out to be separate from the world’s evil culture. We belong to Him.