This devotional is written for one of the lesser known days of Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter. Today is the day known as Spy Wednesday! Oh, yes, there is an International Spy Day, and that day is upon us. A day like this may conjure up all sorts of ideas about espionage and international intrigue. You may think that celebrating such a day would involve watching “007” or “Mission Impossible” movies all day. If so, then you are actually sort of on the right track, even if your movie choices are a little cliche. The fact is that the word “spy” in Spy Wednesday means just what you think it means. It isn’t some secretive Latin or Greek word that has a deeper meaning. However, the type of spy that is commemorated on this day is not the kind of spy that anyone would ever aspire to become. This is the day that the church has traditionally remembered that Judas chose to double cross Jesus and “began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus” (Matt 26:16), or when Judas became a spy for the religious leaders of his day.
Now, why would we commemorate this day? Why would we want to remember that Judas was a spy? Let me give you a hint… it isn’t out of a sense of celebration that we remember this day. Instead, we need to remember this day out of an honest sense of self-reflection and humility. Because, while none of us want to be like Judas, all of us are just one really bad decision away from doing something that we would equally regret.
Judas always gets a bad wrap (mostly because he deserves it), but you have to remember that these few days leading up to Easter were not good days for followers of Jesus. Judas may have been the worst of them, but Peter wasn’t really that much better. He got rebuked by Jesus, called “Satan,” and then a few days later he denied Jesus three times. Let’s also not forget that the other 10 disciples weren’t exactly heroes. None of them were willing to show their faces after Jesus died. This was definitely a low moment in the history of Jesus following.
We need to remember Spy Wednesday to remember that we aren’t that much better than these. This is a good day to ask yourself the question, “Where in my life, do I act like a spy, like a traitor, like a double crosser?” This is a great day to confess your lack of trust in God’s plan and to cry out to Jesus with the words of scripture, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). The journey of those original disciples is our journey. Let us not forget.