Mar. 8, 2012
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
And so the passion narrative begins.
Until now, the story has been, well, a story. A drama filled with suspense, mystery, and people being people. But now we’ve arrived at the point where things get dicier. From here on out, things will happen quickly. And once done, undoing them becomes increasingly difficult.
For some reason, Judas chose to point out Jesus with a kiss. This was his way of indicating who should be arrested. No, “That’s the man!” as a finger points to Jesus. Or, “You should remember him. In case you don’t, he’s the man drenched in sweat.” Judas uses no words. He uses a kiss.
One day, our two oldest grandsons, Braeden and Bryce were staying overnight at our house. When Rick got home from work, we embraced and kissed. After Rick went to change out of his work clothes, from the background, I heard Braeden say, “I saw Grandpa kissing you.” I don’t think he was tattle-telling. It was more like, “You guys kiss?” Yep, we do. And it’s OK that you caught us doing so.
A kiss is a more intimate exchange between two people. Kisses do not have to be romantic. I kiss my Mom when I see her. Before the grandkids leave, I’ll ask for a kiss and hug. Granddaughter Ellie is always more willing to kiss than the boys. And yes, I do kiss my husband: before we leave each other’s presence, at the end of the day when we are together, when I want to remind him how much I care and love him.
When a person looses a spouse, something often shared with me is how much the surviving spouse misses the physical touch from their spouse. This is one reason I tend to a hug widows and widowers. I’m not trying to replace their spouse; I pray they will feel loved.
Why a kiss? Why something so, well, intimate? There are various theories. Maybe the question should be, “Why not a kiss?” Maybe it was Judas’ way to remind him that he did care and love him. We may think it is a funny way to express this. Then again, aren’t we funny people who do odd things sometimes?
After the kiss came, it was like Judas was now caught doing so. What seemed like such a little thing would change things forever. It all began with a kiss. And so the passion narrative begins.
Let us pray: Amazing love, O what sacrifice. The Son of God given for me. My debt He pays and my death He dies. That I might live, that I might live. Amen.