If You’ve Ever Felt Betrayed
By Debbie McDaniel, crosswalk.com
“While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me–one who is eating with me.” – Mark 14:18
Betrayal. Chances are, if we’ve lived long enough, we know very well what this feels like. To be betrayed or wronged by one who was trusted is a difficult hurdle to get over. It can sometimes leave us stuck right where it happened, we spin it over in our minds a million different ways, asking all the why’s, but there’s usually no adequate answer to even satisfy.
He knows. He understands.
Judas Iscariot, one who walked with Jesus and knew him well, paid simple money to betray our Savior. 30 pieces of silver, given in exchange for His life. It seems almost incredible that he would fall for such a trap or be so wrapped in greed. Money can’t be placed on any life. But on the very One who did so much for him, who offered such love and forgiveness?
The ultimate betrayal of a friend.
Yet Jesus knew it was part of a larger plan. And He still chose to say “yes” and walk that difficult road. Because He understood at the very core of it all, was our need to be set free.
Our need for forgiveness.
The crowd, who had just days before been praising His name as He rode into Jerusalem, suddenly changed. The tide had turned, things had shifted in the other direction. Jesus, once loved and followed by the multitudes, became the person the crowds turned hatred and insults upon.
His own disciples scattered, out of fear for their own lives. They ran. Away from him. In the darkest hours. Peter, one of his bravest, closest friends, even denied knowing him, 3 different times.
The deep hurt Jesus must have endured, the pain, the loneliness, is hard to imagine.
So often in this life when we are wronged, betrayed, offended, or treated unfairly, we want to rise up. To defend our rights and on our own point of view. Or we fight hard to get even. Or even stew in silence while nursing our wounds and getting more angry. It’s hard to extend the same grace and compassion that Christ Himself extended to others in the midst of his own pain. Yet He set the example, the way for us to walk.
He knew the trap of betrayal and unforgiveness, he saw through its lies, the deep wounds of the soul that it could cause. He chose the better way, stepped over its grasp, and chose to love, to forgive.
Unforgiveness, even towards ourselves, will keep us prisoner to the past, to the wrong, to the betrayal, to the offender. It will never allow us to move forward in the freedom of where God wants us to live. And even hidden resentments, the ones we think no one sees, or knows about, safely tucked away into a secret place in our souls, will weigh us down, trapping us in the very place we wish to let go of.
But we don’t have to live there. We can make the choice to move forward.
Though forgiveness may never “feel” right, it will always “be” right. Because in it you will be set free. Choosing to forgive doesn’t mean that the wrong never happened, it just means you refuse to allow it to control your life anymore.
Christ forgave. Huge love covering all the wrong, all the sin, all the barriers that block our way to God. He whispered these words up to His Father, grace words, breathing out love, through the suffering and the pain. He spoke them out loud. For those that persecuted Him. For us. For the world. “Father, forgive them…”
And He forgives. Still.
That covers a multitude of sin.
Let go. Give it to Him. He carried all the hurt for you. He understands your pain.
In Him, we are set free.
The Betrayal Kiss
Scripture Reading — Psalm 41; Luke 22:47-53
Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. — Psalm 41:9
Jesus and his disciples left the security of the upper room and walked outside the city to the Mount of Olives. And there, away from the crowds, he was betrayed. A kiss from Judas, one of his own chosen disciples, one who had learned from Jesus for the past few years, betrayed him to the officials who were seeking to destroy him. Jesus confronted Judas with his treason: Are you going to use the kiss of friendship to hand me over to the powers of darkness?
A kiss is not a sign of friendship when the one who delivers it is your enemy. Psalm 41 reminds us that false friendship is an ancient problem, especially among brothers: Cain killed Abel, Jacob deceived Esau, and Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery.
The disciples’ reaction is understandable: put the opposition to the sword. But Jesus heals the cut-off ear, salving the wound made by a zealous disciple. In receiving Judas’s treasonous kiss, Jesus took on himself all the false friendships that embittered his people. The disloyalty of one who shared his table took him to the cross.
In dark Gethsemane, we see a king we don’t expect to see. Instead of a pompous ruler on a throne, we see our suffering Lord, who faces the humiliation of a bitter betrayal.
And we must remember that he suffered all this for you and me so that we might live.
Lord, thank you for enduring all this suffering and death for me. I am eternally grateful. Please help me be faithful, Lord. I pray in your name. Amen.
I shall rise again
By: Charles Spurgeon
“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” 1 Corinthians 15:35-38
Suggested Further Reading: Luke 21:25-33
The seasons are four evangelists, each of them having his testimony to utter to us. Does not summer preach to us of God’s bounty, of the richness of his goodness, of that lavish generosity with which he has been pleased to supply the earth, not simply with food for man, but with delights for both ear and eye in the beauteous landscape, the melodious birds, and the flowers of various hue? Have you never heard the still small voice of autumn, who bears the wheatsheaf, and whispers to us in the rustling of the withered leaf? He bids us prepare to die.“All we” saith he, “do fade as a leaf,” and “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Then comes winter, crowned with snow, and he thunders out a most mighty sermon, which, if we would but listen to it, might well impress us with the terrors of God’s vengeance, and let us see how soon he can strip the earth of all its pleasantries, and enrobe it in storm, when he shall come himself to judge the earth with righteousness, and the people with equity. But it seems to me that spring reads us a most excellent discourse upon the grand doctrine of revelation. This very month of April, which, if it be not the very entrance of spring, yet certainly introduces us to the fulness of it; this very month, bearing by its name the title of the opening month, speaks to us of the resurrection. As we have walked through our gardens, fields, and woods, we have seen the flower-buds ready to burst upon the trees, and the fruit-blossoms hastening to unfold themselves; we have seen the buried flowers rising from the sod, and they have spoken to us with sweet, sweet voice, the words, “Thou too shalt rise again, thou too shalt be buried in the earth like seeds that are lost in winter, but thou shalt rise again, and thou shalt live and blossom in eternal springs.”
For meditation: Only a fool ignores the lessons of creation (Romans 1:20-22).