Reflections on Passion Week: Overcoming the Sharp Pain of Betrayal

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Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted
. -Isaiah 53:4

Betrayal is a pain like no other. When someone close to you turns against you for selfish gain, it causes a lasting, lingering wound. If it’s happened to you, and it probably has once or twice, no matter how long ago it was, chances are you can still feel it.

Not that you haven’t moved on, but when you think about that person and what they did, it still hurts a little, especially if they never came back and apologized.

But here’s the thing. The key to overcoming what someone did to you is to focus on what Someone did for you.

Even though Jesus knew it was coming and what it was all about in the grand scheme, the betrayal of Judas still hurt him deeply. He knew it would hurt everyone on his team also, so He tried to prep them for it, to soften the blow:

Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” -John 12:21

The word for troubled here indicates that Jesus was turned upside down inwardly over the situation. It filled Him with anxiety and distress that one of His associates, a member of His hand-picked squad, was about to stick it to Him.

Thirty pieces of silver was the pay-off. That was what Judas would gain for throwing Jesus under the bus and into the hands of His blood-thirsty haters. Just a little kiss and the money would be his. After he realized the darkness of his deed, he would try unsuccessfully to give it back. But he died without ever telling Jesus he was sorry.

It is arguable that the emotional pain Jesus endured as He approached the cross was even more severe than the physical pain of his torture and death, as excruciating as that was. The depression and sorrow that He endured on our behalf took Him to hellish depths. This was part of His suffering, maybe even the worst part.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God… -I Peter 3:18

He did it for us. He did it for you. Today rather than focusing on what someone did to us, may the Lord help us to focus on what Someone did for us.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on Passion Week: Overcoming the Sharp Pain of Betrayal

  1. Hello, thanks for the messages on devos on the run. In this message you have written that Jesus was filled with anxiety and distress, I’m puzzled by that statement, I don’t believe he was, I certainly could be wrong, I’m trying my best to learn his word, but he knew exactly who it was and when it was, and how it was gonna happen. Could you explain your thoughts on that statement and help me understand where your coming from, thanks

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    1. Thanks for your comment Brad! I’m glad to share. I totally respect your perspective. What I base my statement on is passages like Matt. 26:36-46; Matt. 27:46; and John 13:21, all of which indicate that, in his humanity, Jesus experienced the emotional toll of the Cross. Though He was fully God, He was also fully man and because of that He felt the effects of betrayal, a sense of abandonment, all of it – on our behalf. Yes, He knew what was coming and obediently and lovingly walked right into it, but that does not mean it wasn’t painful on multiple levels. Hope this helps a bit. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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