Contemplate two walks up, and then down, the slopes of two adjacent mountains—Mount Moriah and the Mount of Olives. Up one mountain came Judas "with a great multitude" to kiss and to betray the Master. One wonders what the walk down the mountain that night was like for Judas and which was more searing—his lips on Jesus' face, or Jesus' words to him, "Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48). Few scenes of pathos rank with that of a guilty Judas trying to give back the thirty pieces of silver and seeing how those who had used him fiendishly were devoid of mercy and empathy for him. Judas' soul-slide was not a sudden thing, and his subsequent suicide ranks as perhaps the most self-contemptuous in history.
In contrast, early in the morning—centuries before—an obedient Abraham walked up and then down nearby Mount Moriah with his son, Isaac: "They went both of them together." Abraham had been told, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest." We do not know what, if anything, the father and son conversed about on the way up Moriah, but ponder what marvelous moments when father and son walked down that mountain!
Significantly, Abraham did not see the substitute ram on Mount Moriah—until after the moment that mattered—when he obediently "stretched forth his hand, and took the knife" (Genesis 22:2–13). Sometimes the cross must be taken up decisively. There is no time for an agonizing appraisal.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Today's Maxwell Quote
From this talk: