5So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5)
I wanted to point out this verse, despite how dark and depressing it is, because this is the only place in the Gospels where we read that Judas hung himself. If you ever watch a passion play or movie, this is one scene that is always included because it shows the depth of Judas guilt. I will try my best to point out specific verses that are unique to their authors. Both Luke and John go into more detail regarding the circumstances surrounding Jesus’s capture, trial, and crucifixion than Matthew, but only Matthew includes the verse about Judas hanging himself. In fact, there is another verse in Acts 1:18 that suggests Judas fell to another fate. One verse in both Luke and John mention Satan possessing Judas before he makes the decision to betray Jesus. I bring all of this up to show how easily it can be to breeze through a verse and not understand the complexity of the story or miss the content altogether. If at any time, the reading plan feels too rushed to you, slow it down. Reading the Bible should be at your own comfortable pace, but you have to read the whole thing. That’s a must do for 2020. I promise it will change your life.
You see, Judas missed out. He allowed his guilt to consume him too quickly before he could rationalize what he had done. While he had betrayed the Son of Man for 30 pieces of silver, Jesus was ready to forgive him and offer him eternal salvation. DO NOT ever think that you are too far gone. Jesus is always ready and willing to accept you into His loving arms. He will help you come back from whatever despair you have found yourself in. Suicide continues to rise around the world and it is unacceptable. It represents a detachment between us and our Heavenly Father and the love and forgiveness of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Chances are you know someone who has either suffered from suicidal thoughts or depression, or know someone who lost the fight against such evils. I pray that you have never had those thoughts, but if you have, just know that you are not weak or foolish for thinking such thoughts. You are just overwhelmed and stubborn. Overwhelmed due to circumstances in your life that have made you feel broken and alone beyond repair. Stubborn because you do not seek help. America is aggressively trying to defeat the stigma that goes with asking for help when suicide becomes a thought in a person’s mind. There is a lot of help out there, but most of those who struggle with these demons never take the first step to seek help. They see the obstacles ahead and they just give up.
Jesus never gives up on you. He is always waiting for you to come to Him. He came to serve and when you need help, He will lift you up and fill your heart with the Holy Spirit. There is no depth too low that Jesus will not rescue you from. God loves you. He loves you so much He sent His only Son to die on the cross for you and offer you the chance to have relationship with God through Jesus. Give them the chance to work miracles in your life.
For today’s reading plan, the final chapter of Matthew, we will see the power of God and Jesus as the Son of Man rises from the grave and His glory is witnessed by the disciples and Mary Magdalene and His mother Mary. Then Jesus issues His final words in the first book of the Gospel. It is a command that demands our attention. Let Jesus heal you. Your resurrection story could be the inspiration that saves dozens of others that might have found themselves in a bad spot, or hurt beyond repair.
Reading plan: Matthew Chapter 28
Deeper reading plan: no deeper reading today, just focus on reaching out to someone you may think needs to hear this message.
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray for those who need divine intervention to save them from making a drastic decision they can’t take back.
Fitness challenge: Cardio day, get outside, clear your mind and do some exercise to lift your soul.