There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
“I am the way.” (John 14:6)
This is the declaration of Jesus as he gathered together with the disciples for the last time. For those who chose to stay ever faithful, he prayed to God:
“This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
The coming days would lead to his persecution and crucifixion. Yet he thought not of himself and his impending suffering, but of his followers and their yearning for assurance. He wanted to confirm for them that their faith was not in vain. In their presence, he turned to God and asked Him to love his disciples just as God loves Jesus, His Son:
“I am no longer in the world and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, the name which you have given me that they may be one even as we are.” (John 17:11)
But not all were faithful to Jesus, not all of the disciples followed his way. One disciple, Judas Iscariot, took flight down another road:
“While I was with them, I was keeping them in your name which you have given me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition.” (John 17:12)
Judas’ betrayal and flight down the road to perdition was the rejection of Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. It was the repudiation of the teachings of Christ. It was the denunciation of eternal life in heaven. It was a choice between serving two masters: the King of heaven or the king of the world. Judas fatefully chose the road that secured his death – sealing the choice with a kiss.
The way of Jesus beckons in glorious radiance. The road to perdition looms in the abyss.
We have a choice: faith or flight?
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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