Wednesday, March 27 | Luke 22:1-6

Alisa Huston

In “From Action to Passion,” Henri Nouwen writes: “Jesus went to Jerusalem to announce the good news to the people of that city. And Jesus knew that he was going to put a choice before them: Will you be my disciple, or will you be my executioner? There is no middle ground here. Jesus went to Jerusalem to put people in a situation where they had to say “Yes” or “No.” That is the great drama of Jesus’ passion: he had to wait upon how people were going to respond. How would they come? To betray him or to follow him?”

In today’s passage, we see several examples of those who have chosen to be Christ’s executioners: chief priests who ought to be preparing to celebrate Passover, a celebration of God’s deliverance of Israel, and Judas, one of the twelve disciples who had been with Jesus throughout his ministry.

When we read that “Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot,” we might, at the outset, be inclined to see this as something that happens to Judas, something he did not consent to that turns him from disciple to executioner. But we read elsewhere that resisting Satan is possible, that God can deliver us from the assaults of the devil. James 4:7 says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” While some are counting the cost of following Christ, hearing Him when He says “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name” (Luke 21:16-17). Judas is counting money, choosing instead to serve those who also say “no” to the way of the cross, those who are “afraid of the people,” those who will love him for betraying Christ.

As Holy Week approaches, our imaginations are more acutely shaped by the choices set before us. As Nouwen has observed “there is no middle ground here.” May we, surely trusting in God’s defense, not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord (BCP, 99). May we choose the way of life, the way of the cross.

Alisa Huston has been attending Trinity Cathedral for almost three years and serves on the altar guild and as an acolyte. 

Find all Lenten Devotionals from Trinity Cathedral here.