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Have Mercy on Me

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” (Matthew 26:15)

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for popularity and acceptance, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for comfort and ease, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for my own desires over yours, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for time to idly waste, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for not rocking the boat and looking the other way when wrong was done, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for saying what I thought even when my words cut other’s hearts, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for a hard heart when I refused to forgive, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for doing nothing in times when love was demanded, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for the convenience of using people, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for so much less than thirty pieces of silver, have mercy on me.

-Christy Isinger, Blessed Is She devotional

When this devotional came through to my email yesterday morning, I sat there for a little bit just rereading all of these statements. At first, I didn’t want to admit I could think of a scenario in which each of these played out in my own life, some of them even being recent circumstances. It was almost painful to think of the ways in which I so willingly put my own selfish desires or wants above Christ. Despite it being challenging to reflect on all of this, it was convicting.

We are all sinners, and these statements above reflect just that. The world tells us, in more ways than one, we should put ourselves first, and our own interests should be top priority above all else. This was depicted in the scripture above where Judas, Jesus’ betrayer, was talking with the chief priests before he handed Jesus over. Judas wanted to know what good could come out of this opportunity for himself, without even considering the magnitude of his decision.

How often do we find ourselves putting our own desires, wants, interests above all else? What do we do about it when we find ourselves in this situation? Are we allowing God to enter into these moments to help guide us back to Him?

I’m not going to lie. This wasn’t easy to talk about or reflect on because I consider myself more of an optimist. With the joy of Easter coming this weekend, I wanted to focus on something that felt a little more uplifting. And then I saw this reminder from Christy Isinger, who wrote the devotional above:

“As we journey through this most Holy Week of the year, let’s do the difficult work of looking at ourselves and what our sin contributes to Christ’s suffering. We are part of the story, we are part of His pain just as we are part of His Resurrection.”

Heavenly Father, thank you that we are a part of the story. We admire you for showing us the truth that we are a part of His pain, but we are also a part of His Resurrection. We await in great and joyful anticipation for Easter Sunday, and we praise You for the hope You have given to us by sending us Your Son, and raising Him up to new life. In your name, we pray.