It's hard to believe that Easter was almost a week ago. My how times fly! I feel like the older I get, the faster time goes! How about you?
During Easter week, we focused on the Last Supper, Good Friday, and then Resurrection Sunday. And amidst all of the story, this wonderful story of love; God's love for us, His sacrifice for us, is also a story of betrayal.
Mark chapter 14 verses 43 through 46 talk about this betrayal. It's what many call the Judas Kiss and it reads as follows.
And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with them swords and clubs from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I kiss is the man. Seize Him and lead Him away under guard." And when he came, he went up to Him at once and said, "Rabbi!" And he kissed Him. And they laid hands on Him and seized Him.
Poor Jesus! Although He already knew what Judas would do, it must have hurt Him greatly nonetheless. After all, Jesus loved Judas.
My friend, have you, like Jesus, been betrayed? Have you been betrayed by someone you were close to? By someone you trusted? It's very painful. I know. I've been there too. The big difference between us and Jesus though, is we usually never see it coming!
But when Jesus came down to this earth and lived as one of us, He too suffered many hurts, disappointments, and sorrows. And He also felt the pain of betrayal; betrayal and rejection through his friend and follower, Judas Iscariot.
Judas wasn't just anybody. He was someone who Jesus had worked alongside with. He had taught him. He broke bread with him. He entrusted him with Kingdom errands, even loving him.
Perhaps your betrayal came through a close friend or a family member. Or, if you're a leader in ministry, a close friend and colleague you respected, loved, and trusted but they turned on you. And now you're left reeling. Feeling like the wind has been knocked out of you; like you've taken a punch to your gut!
If so, here's something I'd like you to keep in mind. And that is, that Jesus knows how you feel! He's been there! He feels your pain and He feels your heartbreak, your disappointment.
And this same Jesus who knows how you feel; who's walked the painful road of betrayal and rejection, commands us in Matthew chapter 5 verse 44. "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."
Ouch! Sometimes that verse can feel like another punch in the gut! But the thing is, Jesus stayed focused on His purpose. He didn't allow His disappointment, the sting of betrayal, to cause Him to fail in doing what God had called Him to do and that was to go to a brutal painful death on a cross in order to bear our sins so that we did not have to bear them.
My friend, I know this is hard! As I've said, I've been there more than once. But we must be like Jesus! He lived this hard and difficult life; a life that included betrayal as an example for us. Let's follow that example as best we can.
Cry out to Jesus for help! Cry out to Him for His comfort, His peace, and the strength to forgive your offender, because the One who knows exactly what you're going through is the One who knows how to give you the strength, the courage, and the faith that you need to trust Him during this very difficult and painful time.
Jesus knows, He understands. Please don't let another minute go by! Reach out in childlike faith to your Lord and Savior who Himself knows the disappointment, anguish, and heartache that fills your heart, and let Him replace what's in your heart with His love for you, His comfort, and His peace that passes all human understanding. ❤❤