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Today, we claim to be among the friends of Jesus. We are also citizens of a nation that by every poll sees itself as deeply invested in religious belief. And some of us also manage to be priests, scholars, and elders—religious leaders both ordained and lay. In terms of Matthew’s Passion, we therefore share in the betrayal of Jesus in all the ways we fail to stand up for the innocent sufferer. To be both a believer and a traitor is a potentially tormenting identity, as Judas knew intimately. But we believe that the blood of Jesus is not our condemnation. It is the cup of our salvation. And so we confidently take our place at the foot of the cross, now and always.
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