The Sting of Betrayal {John 18}

6:07 AM

By Lisa Moore

"Et tu, Brute?"  Probably one of the most recognizable phrases from Literature.  It is Latin for, "Even you Brutus?", and is from the play "Julius Caesar" written by William Shakespeare.  These are the words Caesar utters while being stabbed to death, having seen his friend Brutus among the murderers.  Nothing hurts quite as deep as betrayal, and no one knows this better than Jesus.
John Chapter 18 opens with Jesus and His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus would face the ultimate betrayal by one whom He loved.  Judas Iscariot not only betrayed Christ, he also betrayed the rest of the disciples.  Men he ate, slept, and traveled with.  Men he called friends.  In some point in our lives, we all have felt the sting of betrayal.  We know the deep pain it causes, so we can have some understanding of how the disciples felt at seeing their teacher, their friend, and their Savior being arrested as a common criminal.  And knowing that this came by the hand of one who they called brother must have been a double blow.  We can relate to Peter who took up his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the slave of the high priest, in defense of his Master.  But even the brave Peter wasn't immune from the sin of betrayal.  

All of this got me thinking about the man Judas and the acts he committed.  In my pride I found myself saying, "There is no way I could ever do what Judas did!"  But am I really so different from him?  Is my heart truly haughty enough to believe that I am not capable of betraying the Savior I claim to love?  In my research, I ran across a few words about this very subject by Dr. Charles Stanley, and so loved them that I had to share.

"Judas Iscariot powerfully reminds us of the horrific possibilities within every human heart.  While he called Jesus "Rabbi", (Matt. 26:25-49), there is no record that he used the term "Lord".  Sadly, he shows us that we can claim allegiance to Christ without ever truly believing in Him as our Lord and Savior (Matt. 7:22,23).  This is the case with those who believe that Jesus was a good teacher but deny that He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6), or those who profess to know Him but do so only for their own gain.  Whatever his reason for handing over the Lord Jesus, we know that sin had so blinded Judas that he could not see the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  He pridefully took matters into his own hands and later regretted all that he had done. (Matt. 27:3-5).  Judas' story of the betrayal still resonates, not only because of his evil kiss, (Luke 22:47,48), but also because we realize the wickedness of our own flesh."

In Matthew 26:36-46 Jesus prayed three times in that very same garden where He was arrested that if it were possible, God would remove the "cup" of the Cross from Him.  When God didn't, Jesus let nothing stand between Him and that cup.  Our Lord and Savior knew what Judas was about to do.  He knew that His time had come, and all that He was about to endure.  And in His amazing love for you and I, He went willingly.  In light of His precious gift, what kind of kiss do we give Jesus?  Do we go to church and with our minds say He is Lord but not with our hearts?  Do we call Him King only as a way to achieve our own thrones?  When I search my own heart, I am ashamed.  More times than I care to count I too have displayed behavior that I know could bring nothing but pain to the One who gave everything He had for me.  My actions have been nothing short of a betrayal to my Master.  But He loves me anyway.  He wants me anyway.  He joyfully calls me His own when I could never be worthy of Him.  And knowing Him has given me a joy and peace that although I do not deserve, am thankful for every day.  If you haven't, I pray that you too will accept His gift of love, pardon, and everlasting life.  Wont you let Him call you His own, and share in His glorious triumph on the Cross?

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