Read: John 13;21-32
vs. 21 – Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
Betrayal seems to be the most heinous of offences. Perhaps not so much for what was done, but rather, it always seems to be connected to someone you trust or someone you love. A promise broken, an action that crushes what you hold dear, a change of alliance with an opposition. There are many ways betrayal can occur.
Jesus handpicked his disciples for a three-year term of instruction on how God’s kingdom was coming through Christ. Judas Iscariot was among those whom he chose. Loyalty to one’s rabbi (teacher) was expected without question. Yet Judas, who loved money, gave in to a temptation to betray Jesus to the religious leaders who wanted to kill him (Mark 14:1-11).
Midway through the Holy Week, as Jesus journeyed from Sunday’s “Hosannas” to the inhumanity of the cross, he hosted the last supper, the Passover Feast, and warned his disciples that one of them would betray him. Although the disciples looked at one another to see if they might learn who would do such a thing, no one knew except Judas himself and Jesus. Judas carried out his deed to betray Jesus as planned.
Do you suppose that Jesus treated Judas any less lovingly while he was with him for those three years? Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and yet he loved him along with the other disciples. When I look at my own shortcomings and I realize that I too have betrayed my Lord, breaking his commands even while knowing to do better, I shudder at the thought. But I know that grace has been granted to me and I bow humbly before the cross with gratitude and thanks, while I ask for forgiveness.
Jesus was betrayed, but he never betrayed his Father or his people or his calling. What a beautiful Saviour is Jesus my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for your love, compassion and forgiveness.
Dear Lord, we bow at your table, at the foot of your cross, and before your empty tomb, asking forgiveness and grace when we have been disloyal, and we pray for more strength to be more loyal disciples. Amen.