Spy Wednesday is my favorite day in Holy Week. Spy Wednesday is all about Judas and his secret meeting with the Pharisees. Under the cover of night Judas met with the Pharisees and agreed to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas was upset over a lack of financial gain and selfishly sought his own desires. There was a snake amongst the disciples who betrayed the Son of God.
The same situation pretty much befell the Galactic Republic. Palpatine was the snake in the Senate who only cared about his own desires. He engineered the Trade Federation’s blockade of Naboo, orchestrated a civil war and enacted Order 66 all so he could become the Emperor of the Galactic Empire.
When we look at someone like Judas or a character like Palpatine, we like to think that we’re nothing like them. Judas not only betrayed Jesus, but also endangered 11 of his closest friends. Palpatine was blinded by his own ambition and couldn’t have cared less about those he killed or oppressed. We’re nothing like those two; we’re not capable of doing what they did.
While we may not betray our closest friends for a couple hundred dollars or lead our governments into a bloody civil war, we all at least have the same root problem that Judas and Palpatine did: selfishness. Both the disciple and the dictator were more concerned with their own desires than anything else. Judas wanted to benefit financially from his association with Jesus and Palpatine wanted to rule the galaxy. Both of those desires were rooted in selfishness.
I may build a different building than Judas and Palpatine did, but I’ve got the same foundation of selfishness in my life. I used to be really selfish and prideful; I still am, but I like to think I’ve gotten a little better. I’m not going to betray my wife and child, but I still might think about what would make my life easier before I think about their needs.
Our selfishness probably won’t lead us to same place as Judas and Palpatine. However, if it goes unchecked, our selfishness could still land us someplace we don’t want to be. Holy Week is all about Jesus’ long journey to the cross. He enters Jerusalem as a king, is betrayed by one of his closest friends and ends up dead on Golgotha. If we want to curb our selfishness we only need look at the example of Jesus. He didn’t want to be brutally tortured and die on the cross, but he went through it anyway because he placed our needs above his own.
So if we don’t want to betray our friends, if we don’t want to start a war or if we just don’t want to be a jerk, then we need to follow the example of Jesus. We don’t need to hang from a cross, but we do need to bear our cross daily, which means thinking of others before we think of ourselves.