Betrayal is to disappointment as Heart Attack is to sick.
Betrayal often happens in the closets of our relationships. Betrayal is a very emotionally charged word, it causes great pain to ones heart and can even be made manifest in the body. Betrayal is one of the worst actions one can take against his/hers friends and family.
If you have ever been betrayed before, you know that it is like a knife to the heart. The pain and the agony is so deep, it pierces to the deepest depths of ones being. It can be hard to keep your head up high and look at someone the same way once they have betrayed you.
The author of Hebrews puts it this way:
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all [points] tempted as [we are, yet] without sin. – Heb 4:15 NKJV
Today marks a very important day in Holy Week, many protestants do not celebrate today, but we must not neglect the reality of all that Jesus went through leading up to His death. Today marks Spy Wednesday.
Today is the day in which we remember the betrayal of Jesus by one of His closest friends who walked with Him. Many are aware of the story of Judas Iscariot, in fact, Judas gets knocked a lot. Could you imagine your legacy being that of the one who handed Jesus over to the chief priest.
We see in the book of Matthew and the book of John, two different perspectives on this night. We find that Judas had already set things into motion:
14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. – Mat 26:14-16 NLT
In John 13, Jesus has one of the most intimate moments He has ever had with His disciples. Jesus washes their feet and sets into motion the act of remembrance, the Last Supper.
18 “I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.‘ 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I AM the Messiah. … 21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” … 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” … 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night. – Jhn 13:18-19, 21, 25-27, 30 NLT
Not only did Judas betray Jesus by handing Him over to the high priest, the rest of Jesus followers brought great disappointment to Jesus in the time of His greatest need!
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” 42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. 44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look–the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!” – Mat 26:36-46 NLT
Jesus asked them to stay and pray with Him, and yet 3 times He found them asleep. I cannot imagine the pain that Jesus felt in His heart, and the disciples had no idea what was about to happen…
47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. – Mat 26:47-49 NLT
Let us never forget the pain and agony Jesus went through on the night He was betrayed, left alone to pray, and delivered up to the very men who would have Him hung on a cross. All of this done, that He might fulfill the Holy Scriptures, that He would become the bridge for us to cross the chasm of separation from God.
In the times of your greatest need, never forget, you have a Savior and High Priest whom can comfort you because He has already been through it all!