It’s hard to write about betrayal.
I could tell you a thousand stories of growing up and the things you thought were secret were spread around school for everyone to know. I could share of the hurt I felt each time it happened to me, whether it was knowing a bad thing a friend had said about me behind my back, a boyfriend that was “secretly” talking to another girl, or being left out of something with my best friend.
But honestly, I can’t.
Because that would be unfair to share of all the times I had been hurt and not share about the times I was the one at the heart of the betrayal. I knew how it felt and yet, I took part in making someone else feel that way, too. I cringe thinking about those times and certainly wish I could do it all over again.
The worst was always when you knew the other person had betrayed you and yet you had to be around them, in class, in a group of friends, at church, wherever it was. They didn’t know that you knew.
Or reverse it. I was that person. I knew what I had done was wrong. I was still acting like everything was fine, but deep down, I had that little secret that I didn’t think anyone knew.
But they did.
“And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.” (Mark 14:17-18)
It was the Passover meal, what we refer to as the Last Supper. Jesus sat with His twelve disciples. The men He had invested His life into. He had taught them a great deal and had shared every day with them for nearly 3 years. And as He sat to eat dinner with them, the truth came out.
One would betray Him.
The disciples looked to one another, questioning who it could be, even asking, “is it I?” This is the second time Jesus had predicted betrayal from His friends. Matthew records that in this moment, Judas, too, asks, “is it I?” And Jesus said, “thou hast said”.
It’s so hard to imagine what Jesus was thinking. Here is a man that He had spent so much time with and yet he was willing to give Him up for a little money?
“Why? Why would you do this? Do I mean so little to you? Don’t you understand how much this hurts me? Do you know what you’ve done? How could you hurt me like this?” These are the questions I have asked and the ones that have been asked of me when the secret was finally out.
But, not with Jesus.
He washed his feet. He served him bread. He drank and ate with him. They sang a hymn, together.
“And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:20-26)
I’m angry at Judas. Aren’t you? Knowing what is to come for Jesus because of this betrayal makes me furious at him! How could he hurt Jesus like that? This man, this innocent man, the very Son of God, I just can’t believe it!
And then again, here I am, making a mockery of Him as I sin against Jesus myself.
Every gossiping word I speak.
Every lie, big or small.
Every thought of hatred towards another.
Every prideful thought and action.
Every time I put something before Him.
I am no better than Judas.
Jesus knew I would betray Him. Like Gomer to Hosea, I have betrayed my first love and yet, Christ, knowing all these things, still chose to pay the debt I owed. He loves me that much!
And He loves you!
Father forgive us! Help us to recognize our sin and repent, turning towards you and your holiness! Thank you for loving me anyways. I am not worthy! But I am so thankful for your forgiveness in spite of my failure!