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Matthew 27:1-5

“Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

Judas had walked with Jesus for nearly three years, yet when it became obvious that the Jesus he wanted was not the Jesus he was getting he decided to take matters into his own hands. Judas betrayed Jesus into the hands of the religious leaders, hoping that his own plan might come to fruition. His plan failed and his fate was sealed.

Millions of Americans have spent countless hours “around” Jesus and His ministry, yet proximity has not led to confession, repentance, and a new life born in Christ. Perhaps it is because they too, like Judas, have not found the Jesus they were looking for…the one they were willing to accept. The real Jesus brings with Him a call to deny oneself, pick up a cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Sadly, most people want forgiveness without repentance…Grace without accountability…Salvation without damnation.

Perhaps you are looking for a Jesus of your own making. You want a Jesus that comes with a guaranteed low price but maximum personal benefit. You want a Jesus that leaves the door open for other religions and is OK with truth that is relative. That Jesus doesn’t exist. You may go to your grave full of remorse like Judas did, but that is not enough to gain entry into Heaven. Faith in the Jesus of the Bible is your only option…and an option you had better exercise before it’s too late.

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