LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 15 -THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE
Welcome to this special Easter edition of Redeeming the Chaos with Laurie Christine!
A FAMILY DEVOTIONAL FOR EASTER
For 30 days leading up to Easter, I will be reading to you from my easter devotional book, Come and See! 30 Family Bible Stories for Easter.
Today, I am reading Come and See! Chapter 15 – THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE.
Come and See! invites families of elementary-aged children to experience firsthand the anticipation, the sorrow, the tragedy, the fear, and the ultimate triumph of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Through the eyes of six eye witnesses, you will be led on a journey through the busyness of the streets of Jerusalem, to the despair of Golgotha, and finally to the celebration of the empty grave.
This bookincludes 30 short devotional stories, each with accompanying Scripture references and questions for discussion and imagination.
We are going to be reading one story each day leading up to Easter. You’re welcome to grab the kids and listen together for your family Bible time. Or, if you would rather read to your kids on your own, you can DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF THE ENTIRE EBOOK HERE.
LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 15 – THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE
READ COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 15 – THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE
THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE – Told by Judas, A Disciple of Jesus
I had left the Garden of Gethsemane the night before, feeling somewhat unappreciated. The next morning, I rolled out of bed and headed back to the temple in Jerusalem. I wanted to find out what had happened to Jesus, but mostly, I was hoping for a bit of recognition — a slap on the back, if you will. I still felt bitter about last night. I was the one who led them to Jesus. They couldn’t have arrested him without me! I wanted the religious leaders to at least say “Thank you.”
I entered the courtyard of the temple just as several chief priests were passing through. “Hey, did you hear about last night?” I waved, trying to get their attention. “Did you hear how I marched right up to Jesus and gave him a kiss? You should have seen his face!” I laughed nervously.
The priests continued past me, clearly in a hurry to get somewhere. “Sure, Judas,” one of them scoffed over his shoulder. “You were great.” I got the feeling he didn’t really mean what he said.
“Where are you all going so early in the morning?” I asked.
“Oh, didn’t you hear?” One of the priests smirked at me, a look of eager triumph spreading across his face. “Jesus was condemned to die! Pilate announced the verdict early this morning. In fact, the Roman soldiers are probably beginning the crucifixion this very minute.”
Crucifixion? Condemned to die?! Whoa, wait a minute. That couldn’t be right. They were just going to rough Jesus up a little. Teach him a lesson. Nobody ever said anything to me about killing him!
I suddenly felt sick. My head throbbed and my stomach churned. My tongue tasted like acid. Slapping a hand over my mouth, I ran to the edge of the courtyard and threw up in the dirt. This can’t be happening. Did I seriously just take part in this man’s death? I mean, I really didn’t like him at all. I was truly sick of all the hype that was spreading throughout the city. But I didn’t actually think he deserved to die!
I turned back to the priests, who were scrunching their noses at me in disgust.
“I think there has been a mistake!” I blurted out. “I didn’t know you were going to kill him! Jesus doesn’t deserve to die!” I fell to my knees, burying my face in my hands. Hot tears stung my eyes and ran down my cheeks. My chest tightened as I fought back sobs. “I have sinned,” I muttered from behind my tear-soaked hands. “I have betrayed an innocent man!”
I could hear the priests laughing at me, mocking my agony. “Well, that’s just too bad now, isn’t it?” one of the priests jeered. “We couldn’t care less that you’re feeling guilty about all this. That’s your problem. There was no mistake. What’s done is done.”
“No, please!” I begged, straightening up to look at their faces. I knew what I had to do. Maybe there was still time to make this right.
My hands were shaking as I reached inside my tunic. The money pouch with the thirty silver coins was still tied to my belt. I pulled open the drawstring and grabbed a handful of coins and threw them as hard as I could. The silver pieces clanked loudly and scattered across the floor of the temple courtyard.
“You can have your stupid money!” I shouted, hurling another handful of coins directly at the feet of the priests. They jumped backward, looking at me with disdain.
“Keep your dirty money, Judas. It’s too late.” They sneered and turned to walk away.
I didn’t want the money. I didn’t want anything to do with this. I just wanted this nightmare to end. Throwing the money purse on the floor of the temple, I ran out. My heart pounded and my chest hurt and I could barely breathe. I ran and ran and ran through the city until I couldn’t run any farther. Crumpling in a heap in the dirt, I desperately sucked in air.
Next to me was a gnarly, old olive tree, and I gazed up at its twisted branches. The sky was unusually dark for this time of day. Strange. I couldn’t see the sun at all. I willed myself to stop sobbing. I had made up my mind. If Jesus was going to die because of me, then I no longer deserved to live either.
* * *
— Optional Ending for Older Kids —
My hands shook violently as I loosened the sash tied around my waist. I carefully slipped one end of the sash over a low-hanging tree branch and the other end around my neck. I slowly filled my lungs with air and exhaled for the very last time.