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Frank Hay

Frank Hay

One of the most infamous and tragic figures in all of scripture is Judas Iscariot. Not only did he betray Jesus, he did it with a kiss. A sign of affection turned into a sign of treachery. It is tragic, indeed, when one is a fake.

Let us be reminded that Judas was with Jesus and heard his teaching; he saw miracles and saw how Jesus loved and ministered to the people. And, just as Judas, we can be connected WITH Jesus and not be connected TO Jesus. We can KNOW about Jesus but not KNOW Jesus.

Christianity is a relationship, not a set of dos and don’ts; it's a personal, intimate relationship. John wrote, "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." (1 John 2:19)

As we enter the Easter season, I challenge you to examine your own motives. See how Paul gave instruction. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5)

My friend, are you a follower or a faker? Is your relationship with Jesus real? You can break the heart of Christ you know? Imagine how Christ felt when he saw Judas’ betrayal or Peter's denial. John again wrote, "After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, 'I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.'" His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. (John 13:21-22) Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9)

Luke wrote ( 22:60-62), “And Peter said, 'Man, I know not what thou say. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crowed.' 61) And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, 'Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.' 62) And Peter went out and wept bitterly."

Our sin not only is rebellion, but it breaks our Lord’s heart. Let us all take close notice of our relationship with our Lord Jesus. Following Jesus is not just about going to Church or giving money; it is not about being sorry for being caught. It is a change of heart, a change of attitude. It is a new life, a life that sees the world as God sees it. Many religions want you to do for their god. Christianity, however, has its GOD, Jesus Christ, to die for you. There is a great difference.

During this Easter season, I pray you will consider your relationship with Jesus. God Bless, and live for Jesus daily.

J. Frank Hay Jr. is a retired Orangeburg pastor and chaplain.

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