Have you ever been betrayed?
I’ve been thinking a lot about betrayal lately.
The more I think about it, the more I see my own past betrayals being triggered over what I watch … my own emotions get blown out of proportion.
As I look up the word to get more clarity two different definitions jumped out at me:
- the act of exposing or delivering someone to an enemy through treachery or disloyalty:
- the act of disappointing a person’s trust, hopes, or expectations.
Those definitions make a great mixture of what I find betrayal to feel like … being turned over to the enemy through treachery resulting in broken trust.
That led me to pondering the betrayals of Jesus and how He responded to them. Having just come through Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, the timing is not lost on me.
The betrayal of Jesus is one of the most heartbreaking moments in history. Judas betrayed Jesus to the Jewish authorities for thirty pieces of silver. We all know that story. However, he was not the only one who betrayed Christ. I found some other betrayals that Jesus experienced in His final days.
Peter denied knowing Jesus: When Jesus was arrested, Peter denied knowing him three times, despite having become indignant that he would never do so! This act of betrayal broke Jesus’s heart, but it also showed his mercy as he ultimately forgave Peter and restored their relationship. To the point of specifically telling the women to go tell the disciples AND Peter (calling Peter out on purpose) that He was alive.
Almost all the disciples abandoned Him: After Peter’s denial, all the disciples fled in fear and abandoned Jesus in his time of need. Not even John was there to support him during this difficult trial, even though he did eventually make it to His crucifixion – further illustrating how powerful and devastating betrayal can be.
The high priest betrayed Him: Even though Caiaphas, the high priest of Jerusalem at the time, claimed allegiance to God and was supposed to protect justice and truth, he instead condemned an innocent man – yet another deep betrayal.
Pilate failed to protect Him: Pontius Pilate was responsible for protecting those under Roman law from unjust conviction and execution; however, when put in a tough spot by the power-hungry chief priests and anxious crowd members, he failed to stand up for Jesus’ basic rights – leaving him vulnerable to false accusation and punishment.
Despite these betrayals, Jesus showed us what true love is by forgiving each person involved no matter how deeply they had hurt him; something we should take as an example for our own lives in times when someone close has wronged us deeply. But does that mean we ignore bad behavior or condone ungodly treatment? Hmmmm. If vengeance belongs to God, then that means we surrender our right to retaliate. Ouch. I would much rather get even at times.
So here we are, full circle on the topic of betrayal. As Jesus did, so am I expected to do. Forgiving those who betray no matter how deeply I’ve been hurt or those I love have been hurt. Easier said than done, I’m afraid. But here’s the deal, James 4:17 tells us when we know the good we ought to do and do not do it, to us it is sin.
Jesus is no respecter of persons. He sets the example, and He wants me to follow it.
And so I will.
How has betrayal affected you and your faith journey? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for spending some time with me today!
Welcome, I'm Athena!
I start each day by tithing the first hour to the Lord in prayer, reading the word, doing word studies of the Text, and asking God how I can live out what I am reading. This time is usually met with meditation on devotionals that are usually written by dead guys like Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, and Andrew Murray.
Right now, I’m reading a daily devotional with a friend called Tozer on the Almighty God for my focus for the day. It's fun to see individually what pulls us in to spur one another on to good deeds!
The Bible is filled with action steps to walk out in practical and intentional ways. This sets my day in motion to walk it out! I hope this is your heart, too.
Consider this a personal invitation to join me in this journey!