Welcome to Ridgeview Christian Center
Our Mission? Reach, Teach, Send:
As far as we’re concerned, it all boils down to Reaching out to people, Teaching God’s life-giving Word, and Sending people to share the gospel to the World.
Everything we do fits into one (or more) of those categories, but nothing we do fits into none of those categories. We believe in intentionality. We believe we’ve got a big God-given mission to introduce people to our Savior, Jesus, and to disciple people that they might go and make more disciples.
So, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we work for the Lord. We are a part of His Church — His Body — and it’s all for His glory!
Learn From Judas
I didn’t expect to be so affected by the life of Judas Iscariot. For most of my Christian life, when I came across the infamous story of Judas Iscariot, I breathed a sigh of relief that I was nothing like him. Anyone would feel that way. No one wants to identify with Judas. In fact, the other Judas is called NOT Iscariot (John 14:22)!
I haven’t typically been one to highlight Judas. Shouldn’t we hide Judas Iscariot and his betrayal of Jesus under the rug? Isn’t it the dirty little secret of the Christian story that we would rather not talk about? And if we do mention it, shouldn’t we do so quickly and not spend time thinking about something so scandalous?
This week I stopped to ponder the behavior of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus. I didn’t look at him to make me feel better about myself. Rather, I looked at him as a warning for my own soul. Jesus, the night before He died, gathered His disciples together for what we call the Last Supper, and He picked up a glass of red wine and said, Luke 22:20: This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” And He breaks bread with them as well, all foretelling of His death. They leave and proceed to the garden of Gethsemane. And Jesus is praying, but He is overcome with a desperate sadness. He separates from His friend who are sleeping, and pleads with God, “Father, is You are willing, remove this cup from Me” (Luke 22:42), while knowing full well that there is no other way. Here, a mob led by Judas Iscariot approaches Jesus, and Judas walks right up to the face of the man he called his master, and kisses Him on the cheek. And Jesus says, “Would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss? (Luke22:48).
This story is deeper than it’s narrative. It is historical, yes. It actually happened. But there is something illustrative there of the worship problem in our hearts. The cross of Christ is the response of God to men and women belittling His name. The cross of Chris exists because mankind—loved by God, created by God, set in motion by God—betrayed God and prefers His stuff to Him.
Judas Iscariot, who had walked with Jesus, witnessed the miracles, and wondered at the power of God, kisses Jesus’ face in brazen betrayal. In this one little picture, we have what’s wrong with the universe. Remember: the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.
We look at our own preference to the good of this world above honoring Jesus. Judas made a deliberate decision to plot against Jesus, and I never thought that I would be able to relate so much to Judas, the betrayer of Jesus. Perhaps there are some lessons from Judas’s life for me.
Like Judas, I choose the riches of this world above the incomparable riches of knowing Jesus Christ. Like Judas, my own misunderstanding of what God is doing in my life leads me to oppose His work rather than commit to the mystery. Like Judas, I can be the most wretched of men. Like Judas, I can judge others who are worshiping God in an extravagant fashion (Mary anointing Jesus with perfume).
So I have a lot to learn from Judas. In Israel, St. Onuphrius Monastery was built over the cemetery that was known as the field of blood (Matthew 27:8), purchased after Judas attempted to return his 30 pieces of silver. I was told the reason this monastery was built in this place is that we must never forget the deeds of Judas and must constantly examine our own lives against the disease of sin that Judas exhibited. Judas let Satan enter into his heart so completely that he did not see the mercy of Christ.
Though I can act like Judas in many ways—judging other Christians, misunderstanding God’s work, making deliberate decisions to disobey Jesus— with God’s help I can recognize these disparities and quickly come home to Jesus.
Judas’ most fatal mistake was to take his guilt and shame over betraying Jesus to the Pharisees for redemption. Once he saw what He had done to Jesus, he tried to fix it himself by seeking help from religion—the Temple. There he found no hope or answers for his sin-infested soul. The worst misdeed of Judas was to demonstrate total hopelessness in Jesus by attempting to fix what was so wrong inside of him himself. The only hope for our souls is Jesus. May we never get to the place that Judas sunk.
Though my lessons from Judas have humbled and surprised me, they are good and holy lessons. I have learned that Judas’ story is not one to push away in the closet but one to constantly use to examine my own heart and soul. I have a lot to learn from Judas.
From Pastor Eddie Foos – July 28, 2019
Find us at:
5610 N Ash
Spokane WA, 99205
Service Times: Sunday – 10:15am Wednesday – 7:00pm
Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9am to 4pm
Call Pastor Eddie. We’ll set up a time to have coffee!