“Hurry up! Figure out the sequence!”
I was observing my daughter and her friends on a private computer monitor as they frantically worked to solve the clues that were fed to them by a computer program. They were participating in an escape room, a computer simulated program designed to transport its participants back to specific points in history. They all needed to work together to solve the given clues to allow them to escape from the room. If they failed, they were doomed to be trapped in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials of the early 17th century.
If only life’s problems could be solved by reworking a computer program and solving the clues. The story is familiar. Trapped in my past, unable to escape from broken relationships and humiliations. For years, I would desperately search for clues, anything that may provide an escape. Yet, each choice I made would lead me down another rabbit hole and further into despair.
Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.
Matthew 26:48-50 (ESV)
Even for Judas, who committed the seemingly heinous and unforgivable crime of betraying Jesus Christ, his Lord, and Master, God gave him an opportunity to repent, calling him a friend. Instead, he chose to wallow in self-despair, denying himself a chance to escape by holding on to the loving arms of Jesus Christ and clinging to the bag of silver, the price of betraying his Master. He never escaped, committing suicide rather than repenting of his actions.
We do not have to live a life of despair. If we confess and repent of our sins and place our trust in Jesus Christ, there is always an answer to the pain and hurt of our lives. It is more than an escape, it is complete forgiveness and reconciliation with the God of all creation. No matter how terrible a sin we may have committed, Jesus is still willing to call us His friend, inviting us to accept His offer of grace and mercy.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.