Spy Wednesday

** I am reposting this from last year. **

In the Orthodox Church we do not call the Wednesday of Holy Week Spy Wednesday but we do, commemorate is not really the right word, remember how Judas conspired with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus before His Crucifixion.

Over the Royal Doors in our Church here in Southbridge we have an icon of the Last Supper.  Jesus is in the middle and his Apostles are spread out on each side.  They all have the golden halo of saints around their heads save one, the wily Judas.  He sits at the end of the table looking out toward the congregation whilst the rest are look at Jesus.  I love this icon, the portrait of Judas is classic.  He is sitting there looking out at everyone as if to say, “What are you looking at?”  He has attitude, the attitude of pride. and it is a helpful reminder of what he was about to do.  He was present at that first Eucharist, but was so filled with pride he betrayed Jesus.  He had too, he was part of the plan from the start.

I often think about Jesus choosing His Apostles and think why did you choose Judas?  He chose Judas because Jesus knew that Judas was weak and would do what had to be done to fulfill the Scriptures.  So Judas did what he had to do and sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, the same amount Joseph’s brothers got for him when the sold him to the servant of Pharaoh of Egypt.  After he knew what he did was wrong and tried to return the money, but the die had been cast.  Judas, filled with remorse, took his own life.  I wonder what would have happened if he came to Jesus as asked His forgiveness?

The Hymns of the evening service tells the story:

The deceitful Judas, in his love for money, set out cunningly to betray You, O Lord, the Treasure of Life.  Therefore in his folly he hastened to the Judeans, saying to the lawless: “What will you give me, and I will deliver Him to you, that He may be crucified?” (Kathismata 4th Tone)

Showing himself ungrateful, envious, and cunning, Judas calculates the Godworthy Gift, by which a debt of sins was forgiven; and as a knave he exploited the Divine favor.  Spare our souls, O Christ our God, and save us.

Going to the lawless rulers, he says: What will you give me, and I will deliver to you the Christ, whom you want and seek?”  From the closest bond with Christ, Judas is drawn away by gold.  Spare our souls, O Christ our God, and save us.

O blind and implacable avarice!  How is it that you forgot what You have been taught, that you are a soul, whose worth the world does not equal?  For you, O betrayer, in despair hanged yourself by the neck.  Spare our souls, O Christ our God, and save us. (Troparions of Great and Holy Wednesday Matins)

O misery of Judas!  He saw the harlot kissing the feet, and with guile he meditated the kiss of betrayal.  She unloosed her tresses, and he bound himself with fury, bringing instead of myrrh, his foul wickedness; for envy knows not to appreciate even its own advantage.  O wretchedness of Judas!  From this, O God, deliver our souls. (Idiomela Hymns)

1 Comment

  1. We are all weak in certain areas of our being.
    Jesus probably picked Judas because he knew Judas was weak in the areas needed to betray him,
    I've never been sure if Judas betrayed him just for the money or if he felt if Jesus were arrested he would work miracles and become a great leader.
    Either way it was what it was to be.
    All Jesus apostles had faults and that shows through in the Bible,they,like every group,disappoint their leader all the time.
    They like us,never seem to quite get it.
    When it sseems like they might be on the path of the right road,someone says or does something stupid.
    must be our fallen nature.
    In the end I always feel sad for Judas,I don't know why but I do.

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