Have you ever been betrayed? Betrayal stings the most when it comes from someone you love, someone you have trusted, someone who is closest to you. The dictionary defines betray as “being given over to an enemy” or “to be unfaithful to a friend”. In the very definition of betray is the idea that a friend is the betrayer. Betrayal by someone you love and/or trust is why betrayal stings so starkly.
Betrayal can happen in so many forms. A secret told, a promise broken, someone you thought would have your back turns on you in a crucial moment. Relationships that had been built crumble.
In my life my deepest hurts have come from times of betrayal. People who should have loved, supported and cared for me and my family in an instant left us out to dry. People who knew our character, our work ethic, turned their backs in a crucial moment in time. People we had aligned our lives with, had broken bread with, had served with handing us over to an enemy.
Being betrayed is a lonely, isolated feeling. You are misunderstood and alone, maybe even falsely accused. The repercussions of the betrayal are out of your hands and you are left to pick up the pieces.
When I read John 18 this past Spring I was struck with tears and a realization. Jesus was betrayed. This isn’t new news to us, is it? We all know that Judas betrayed Jesus. But reading the first few verse of chapter 18 I was struck with the humanity of it all, the realization of what Jesus had experienced and how we really do have a High Priest who can understand all we go through.
“When he had spoken these words he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas who betrayed him also knew the place for Jesus often met there with his disciples.” John 18:1-2 (emphasis mine)
I scrawled in the margin of my Bible, “Jesus was betrayed in his safe place.” Have you been betrayed in your safe place? The safety of a friendship? In the church? In your inner circle at work or ministry? The people who you have allowed in, has one of them turned on you? You are in good company, that is exactly what happened with Jesus.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
What is the temptation when we are betrayed? For me? Revenge. Or I want to defend myself. I want the truth to come out not the betrayers version of the truth. Jesus was betrayed and he didn’t sin. He allowed the betrayal to happen, knowing truth would win, God is sovereign and this was all a part of God’s plan.
This is where it really is tough to live by faith. This is where Grace Upon Grace truly moves into action, grace to forgive those who have wronged us. Grace to live in a new normal when our current reality has crumbled. Grace to trust a Sovereign God when hurt runs so deep. When our plans are waylaid. When it isn’t going how we would choose.
Even in the midst of betrayal we see Jesus submit and yet stay true to who he is. When he answers the guards, “I am he” they all fall down. What must it have been like to arrest the Savior of the World, God the Son? I bet they didn’t forget that night. Even in times of betrayal we can and are still used by God to show his power and glory in our lives. It is when we are at our lowest that we can point to who and what really matters. Where we can follow Jesus and in humility know that truth always wins and God’s purposes always prevail.
- Have you experienced betrayal? How does it comfort you to know Jesus has too?
- Are there people who have hurt you that you need to forgive today? Write their names down and ask for grace to follow through.
- Do you believe that God is trustworthy even when betrayal happens in our safe places? Will you have a heart to heart about this with him today?