Would you betray…with a kiss?Luke 22:48
As we move into the Easter events, we find Jesus entering into the pain and grief of human experience; personal betrayal by one of His close friends. Then came Judas, with a kiss.
If we have lived life and interacted with others, we may well have experienced the darkness and pain of betrayal ourselves. It probably comes as a shock. Trust has been violated. Maybe we have loved and believed ourselves loved in return, yet it’s that very person who has betrayed us; may have humiliated us. Maybe we have trusted someone unwisely. So often it’s our closest friend, a marriage partner, a trusted adviser, who has betrayed us, and that makes it feel so much worse. King David experienced this. “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me”. (Psalm 41:9)
Some describe it as an excruciating pain, as though we have been pierced to the heart with a sword; a form of dying. We feel as though our life is out of control. If we cannot trust them, who can we trust? How could we have been so deceived? It’s as though the very ground of our world has shifted.
In the Garden, Jesus had agonized over His freedom to choose the way ahead. Oh, the depth of that conflict! In a sense, Jesus died on that Thursday evening; He died to His flesh and chose to fulfil the Father’s will in an agony of self-denial for your sake and for mine. As His flesh cried out against all that was to be triggered by Judas’ betrayal, love won the day. Love for the Father, love for you and me. “Father, your will be done” – all for love’s sake.
This is what you and I are worth. This is the value of your personal worth in the heart of God Himself.
In Jesus we have a Great High Priest who, while fully God, has born the pain of betrayal Himself, one who can therefore sympathize with us in our pain. (Heb 4:15)
But what if you are the betrayer? What if, somehow, it is you who have broken a confidence, betrayed trust, destroyed someone’s reputation, betrayed your partner or a friend? Is there any hope for you, then? Yes, there is.
The Good News is that, whether betrayer or betrayed, you can come now to that Great High Priest, Jesus Christ Himself, and find mercy.
First, though, we need to consider whether there is someone to forgive, or say sorry to, or something to put right, as far as we are able (read Matt 5: 23-24). Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Tomorrow never comes. Once we have taken any necessary practical steps, we can grasp God’s promise: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16)