Not My Problem - by Greg Steggerda

If there’s any value that’s still anywhere near being universally held by Americans, it’s the idea that you’re always there for your squad. You jump in when they’re in trouble; you hang in when they go through hard times. In fact, “us against the world” is a popular theme in pop culture. So you’d think the Easter story would resonate with people.

Judas sold Jesus out. He was part of Jesus’ disciples all along, a trusted member who was given control of the money. But he was convinced by the religious leaders and his own evil heart to betray Jesus. In the end, though, he couldn’t stomach what he’d done. Here’s the story, from Matthew 27:3-5: 

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood.’
“‘What is that to us?’ they replied. ‘That’s your responsibility.’
“So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

What strikes me in this story is the response of the chief priests. When Judas went to them repentant and in need of spiritual solace, they said, “not my problem.” They didn’t care about Judas except as a means to get at Jesus. He could, in their opinion, literally go hang.

Ironically, there was a man who would probably have given Judas what he needed: Jesus. Jesus knows that none of us can live up to the kind of loyalty we expect of others. He knows our weaknesses and why we have them. And he can forgive anything and does forgive everything, for those who put their faith in him.

At the point the religious leaders washed their hands of him, there was still a place Judas could go. He could go the same place that’s always open for all of us: to God the Father. Through Jesus’ blood we always have a home to go back to, and a precious relationship waiting.

It would be irreligious to refer to God in squad terms, but when people talk about squad they betray their longing for the belonging they can only find in Jesus. All the plotters and co-conspirators won’t care in the end, and the same squad-mates who swear they’ll be there will also throw you off as toxic as soon as you seem more trouble than you’re worth. “Not my problem” is something you’ll hear from almost every person in your life at some time.

Jesus is the one you can go back to even after you betray him. In fact, Jesus is one you can go back to after repeated betrayals. It’s the reason he came, after all. To give us a way out when our self-created messes seem too big. We don’t have to go hang; he did.