What is a kiss?
Webster says it's a physical expression of affection and loyalty. It can be platonic, as a kiss on the cheek or forehead; or romantic, the pressing of lips together. But I bet you already knew this, didn't you. Why?
Because kissing is as old as humanity. It's a universal form of communication. Not that it's always been publicly tolerated, though. In 1896, Edison Studios produced one of the first films ever shown commercially to the public. Called The Kiss, it depicted an eighteen second long kiss between a man and a woman, a reenactment of the kiss between May Irwin and John Rice from the final scene of the stage musical The Widow Jones. [Wikipedia]
A firestorm of public opinion followed, with some righteous people even calling for police intervention. Public kissing was banned at the time in many places, and was deemed morally deplorable. It seems crazy to us ultra-sophisticated children of the twenty-first century, doesn't it?
However, public kissing is still considered offensive in many parts of the world. And in some cultures, it's actually associated with demon activity. In some parts of Sudan, for instance, it is believed that the mouth is the portal to the soul, so they do not want to invite death or have their spirit stolen from them. [Wikipedia]
So, now that we know all about lip-smacking, let's look at the kiss that changed the world in a blink. Judas had already set his own course long before he kissed Jesus on the cheek, but that moment was a pivotal point for him and for the world. Some say Judas really didn't want Jesus to die, he only wanted to force him into a corner where he would finally strike back at the Romans and the corrupt religious leaders and run them all out of Israel on a rail. Maybe, maybe not. But right up until the moment he placed his lips on Messiah's cheek, he could have changed his mind and reset his course.
Before the kiss, Judas was merely one of many Jewish zealots, passionate about destroying Roman subjugation. After the kiss, he was a traitor to God. Before the kiss, he was a disciple of Jesus, in charge of the money designated to help the poor, and to feed their group as they traveled the countryside giving the Good News. After the kiss, he was a man loaded down with unimaginable remorse, a man who looked for a way out from under the boulder of guilt crushing his chest. He never found it. He died by his own hand, and that guilt went with him to the potter's grave, where he lives with it to this day.
The kiss changed Judas of Kerioth, but how did it change the world, you ask. Before the kiss, Jesus was in the garden praying on a rock, leaking blood in his sweat. He prayed for himself, that he would do all that was required for the salvation of the world. He pleaded for a way out, too; but unlike Judas, Jesus submitted himself to his Father's plan, knowing it was the only way to provide a way for us to live with him forever. After the kiss, Jesus allowed himself to be led away by the Roman guard who had been led there by Judas. Before the kiss, Jesus was the leader of a movement to spread the Gospel of God's love to the world. After the kiss, Jesus became the Gospel of God's love to the world as he hung between heaven and earth weighed down with the sin of all the ages placed upon his shoulders.
The kiss of death, you might say. But whose death?
Judas went to his grave with his sin upon him. The kiss of death killed him eternally. Messiah went to his grave with my sin upon him and three days later burst out of his tomb without it. He left it behind, and now neither he nor I ever have to bear it again.
The kiss that changed the world changes you and me. Jesus hung on the cross to bear your sin to his grave and leave it behind. Will you believe?
Read the full story of Judas, The Kiss, in my book, Leaving Your Lover, along with other stories of those who made decisions which changed their eternal destinies. Also available on Amazon are my other two books, Who Are These People, Books One and Two. All three are available for download or print by clicking on the links on my website.