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“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

sack with the thirty silver coins biblical symbol of the betrayal of judas
6 April 2023

Last Sunday we commemorated the start of Holy Week, or Passion Week as some may call it,
acknowledging the events of Palm Sunday. The day that Jesus entered into Jerusalem to throngs of
people throwing palm branches on the ground as if to worship a king, and shouting, “Hosanna!
Hosanna to the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
And into this fervour, this worship, Jesus comes, not riding on a white stallion fit for a king or a
Caesar, but on a foal, a colt of a donkey. He came with the humility of a servant, showing that
indeed, His kingdom was not like any other.
Today, Wednesday is commemorated as ‘Spy Wednesday’, when we remember the betrayal of
Judas. Judas went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Jesus
over to you?” And I am struck with how similar this looks to the way we as individuals perhaps ask of
the world the same question: What are you willing to give me if I turn the blind eye to Jesus’
teaching of mercy, or the justice found in the kingdom of God? A pay rise? A promotion? Momentary
pleasure or even the peace we want to hold onto by choosing not to enter into another’s pain with
I am also reminded of Jesus example when, knowing the plots set in motion against him and
knowing the cup that the Father had set before Him, He remained resolute. For He Himself said
these words which I find both profoundly comforting and profoundly challenging:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

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144 Sawyers Arms Road
Christchurch, New Zealand

+64 3 352 4227

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