Matthew 10:4 -… Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. NKJV
Are you ready for today’s post? It’s nothing pretty! But then, betrayal isn’t a pretty picture! Is there anyone reading this blog today who knows what I am talking about? I believe there are quite a few of you!
In January of this year, a news report was aired that stated the person who betrayed Anne Frank and her family was finally discovered. Maybe you read the Diary of Anne Frank when you were in school, or you saw the movie. Maybe you are one of those people who heard the name but can’t remember what happened. In any case, Anne Frank was a Jewish teenager who went into hiding with her family in 1942 to avoid the Nazis. She kept a diary of her experiences. After two years of hiding out, her family was discovered and sent to concentration camps. Only her father survived and it was him who had the diary published. If the news is true, a leader within a Jewish organization was responsible for revealing their hiding place. In exchange for the freedom of his family, he turned over the addresses of Jews who had gone into hiding.
If you have had a friend reveal your most private concerns to others, you understand betrayal. If you have had someone you love throw your love back in your face for another, you can relate. Well, you are in good company because Jesus, our Savior was betrayed by someone He loved, poured His life into, and trusted. He knows your pain!
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.Mark 14:10-11 NKJV
What happened in those months leading up to the biggest betrayal in history that could possibly justify what Judas did? The Bible doesn’t tell us! Maybe with good reason!
In the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, the author shared the theory that Judas was upset when he found out that Jesus was not there to establish an earthly kingdom. Supposedly, he was so upset that this caused him to betray Jesus. Another theory mentioned that Judas was trying to push Jesus into establishing His kingdom by having Him arrested, to move things along, and that’s why he betrayed Him. Most people believe that Judas was just a greedy, selfish individual and thus, He betrayed the Savior.
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.Psalm 41:9 NKJV
Judas hung out with Jesus. He kept the money that they were given. (For those who think Jesus was a poor minister, the fact that He had a treasurer is proof that He wasn’t.) Judas saw the miraculous transpire before his very eyes. He even saw Lazarus get up out of the grave after four days of being dead. Yet, he conspired to betray the Messiah. And in doing so, he opened himself to Satan!
Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.Luke 22: 3,6 NKJV
Jesus shared the Passover meal with His disciples. While they were still at the table, He spoke these words:
“But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”Luke 22:21-22 NKJV
The gospel of John gives us a different point of view:
“I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’John 13:18 NKJV
Peter wanted to know who was the betrayer that Jesus was talking about. He probably looked around that setting and couldn’t come up with a single name, so he asked the disciple closest to Jesus to ask Jesus to identify the person.
Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”John 13:26-27 NKJV
There are some events in the Bible that absolutely captures my thinking, causing me to walk away with more questions than answers. This betrayal is one of those events. I cannot fathom what made Judas get up from that table, after Jesus identified him as the betrayer, and follow through with his plan to betray him. Maybe this is truly one of those times when sin took him farther than he imagined and kept him where he did not want to stay? Or maybe he falls in the category of those who can truly say, “The devil made me do it!” It cost him everything!
After sharing the Passover meal with the disciples, they all went to the garden of Gethsemane (featured image). That is, all except Judas. While Jesus was in that garden, He lamented. He hurt so deeply and prayed so intensely about the upcoming events that He had blood seeping through His pores. I don’t know for a fact, but I am pretty sure Judas’ was on His mind. The time for the ultimate betrayal was getting ready to happen and He felt the cut of it deeply!
Judas was not finished. Not only did He betray Jesus to the chief priests, but he also delivered Jesus into their hands!
And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”Luke 22:47-48 NKJV
With a kiss? A symbol of love, reverence, fellowship, and intimacy? No! A kiss of ultimate betrayal! Judas led a detachment of troops with swords to apprehend Jesus (see John 18), and he felt a need to identify Him with a kiss. First of all, didn’t they know who Jesus was? Had they just arrived in Jerusalem and therefore they had no idea about who Jesus was? I don’t think so! I just believe that this betrayal was so thorough that even embracing Him in the end with a kiss was intentional, driving home the point of the ultimate betrayal!
As I stated in the beginning, no one wants to be betrayed. It hurts, and it hurts badly. Some of us seem to never recover from the pain of betrayal. Some, like Anne Frank, never live to realize who the betrayer really was. But most of us see them, sometimes so much, it’s difficult to forget the pain.
I don’t know how your betrayal has turned out. I won’t tell you that you are better off without that person in your life, although you probably realize it yourself. What I will tell you is that you are not alone in your pain. Your Savior knows very well what you have experienced for He went through it Himself. I encourage you to really pour this out to Him. Ask Him to help you to release it and to forgive so that you can be healed. Your time of betrayal has passed, and now it’s your time to be healed! He paid for your pain with His pain. Receive your healing today! I am praying with you! Wonderful Jesus!