Sometimes our personal power is far more limited than we realize
Matthew 26 14 Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?” They paid Judas 30 silver coins, 16 and from then on he started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.
20-21 When Jesus was eating with his twelve disciples that evening, he said, “One of you will surely hand me over to my enemies.”
22 The disciples were very sad, and each one said to Jesus, “Lord, you can’t mean me!”
23 He answered, “One of you men who has eaten with me from this dish will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will die, as the Scriptures say. But it’s going to be terrible for the one who betrays me! That man would be better off if he had never been born.”
25 Judas said, “Teacher, you surely don’t mean me!”
“That’s what you say!” Jesus replied. But later, Judas did betray him.
47 Jesus was still speaking, when Judas the betrayer came up. He was one of the twelve disciples, and a large mob armed with swords and clubs was with him. They had been sent by the chief priests and the nation’s leaders. 48 Judas had told them ahead of time, “Arrest the man I greet with a kiss.”
49 Judas walked right up to Jesus and said, “Hello, teacher.” Then Judas kissed him.
50 Jesus replied, “My friend, do what you came for.”
Matthew 27 3 Judas had betrayed Jesus, but when he learned that Jesus had been sentenced to death, he was sorry for what he had done. He returned the 30 silver coins to the chief priests and leaders 4 and said, “I have sinned by betraying a man who has never done anything wrong.”
“So what? That’s your problem,” they replied. 5 Judas threw the money into the temple and then went out and hanged himself.
from the didascalia (c. 230 CE)
Of your great kindness, Lord, you promised to forgive those who were sorry they had sinned against you; of your great mercy, you declared that sinners should be saved by repentance… prescribe repentance to me, because I am a sinner – my sins, indeed, are more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore. I have fallen so often, Lord, and I am not fit to raise my eyes to Heaven because I have so many sins on my conscience…
You are indeed the God of the repentant. Your treatment of me shows how kind you are: in your great mercy you would save even a wretch as I.
I will sing your praises all the days of my life, like the armies of Heaven, which never cease to acclaim your greatness.
Glory to you throughout the ages. Amen.
Egeria in the Holy land, c. 380 CE
Egeria was a nun from France who was touring the Holy Land in the late 4th century. She was in Jerusalem during Holy Week and provides the only eye witness account of how the early church celebrated.
On Wednesday everything is done throughout the day from the first cockcrow just as on Monday and Tuesday. However, following the dismissal at night at the Martyrium, the bishop is led to the accompaniment of hymns to the Anastasis. He goes immediately into the grotto within the Anastasis, and he stands within the railing. A priest, however, standing in front of the railing, takes up the Gospel and reads that passage where Judas Iscariot went to the Jews to set the price they would pay him to betray the Lord. While this passage is being read, there is such moaning and groaning from amongst the people that no one can help being moved to tears in that moment. Afterwards, a prayer is said, first the catechumens and then the faithful are blessed, and finally the dismissal is given.