If you have ever been the victim of a deep betrayal, you can understand and describe the pain with vivid imagery. I believe that these same gut wrenching human emotion pierced Jesus’ heart when one of His very own betrayed Him. You see, Judas, for a lowly amount of coins, betrayed the forever King. It makes no sense, yet we are all at some point in our lives betrayers. We all make decisions that sacrifice the ultimate worth of Christ’s love for cheap pleasures.
I can think back to moments when metaphorical coins seemed a desirable trade for choosing my fleshly desires over my spiritual ones. In simple terms, I was choosing sin over Jesus, I was Judas in those betraying moments. Has this ever described you? It’s perhaps not the most pleasant thought to dig deep into, but can you name your offenses? Can you list your sins? For some, it might be easier than others and I want you to know that when Jesus becomes your Lord and Savior, there is no more condemnation – Jesus removes your sins as far as the east is from the west. Yet, the point in which I am trying to highlight is that without recognizing and repenting of our betrayals, we can never truly see the fulfillment that comes when grace is presented. There is a Scripture in 2 Timothy 11- 13 that hit me pretty hard when I read it and I would like to share it with you,
Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself.
Did you notice how the beginning lines all have the opposite outcomes? Dying means life, suffering means ruling and, later on in the verse, faithlessness is remarkably met with faithfulness. Jesus was always using radical ideas to describe His Kingdom. In fact, The Beatitudes are a great example of this as well. Yet, will He call us His if we do not call Him ours? The answer is no. We cannot expect to live a life of betrayal towards God (even if we speak Him with our lips, but not without our entire being), and claim to be His. God’s sovereign name does not allow this injustice. We may pretend by doing all the things that look ‘right’ on the surface and still, Jesus can respond by saying, “I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)
Thus, repentance and a true relationship with Him is necessary. Betrayal is simply not an option when it comes to belonging. We must recognize that this makes God a good God, unchanging and unwavering in all of His ways. Yet, there is good news for us who are weak…this does not mean we are perfect. In fact, we can screw up! We can lack faith and fall short (like Paul so often spoke about in the New Testament) and God is still faithful. Why? He cannot show betrayal to those who are marked His. Jesus’ costly bloodshed will not allow God to turn us away when we are sealed by His precious covering that occurred on the cross. He cannot deny Himself. We can be Peter, at times, sinking in an ocean deep even though we can hear God saying “come” and He will never disown us for we are His. He will keep reaching His hand towards us. However what we cannot survive is to live as Judas. We cannot kiss Him, yet deny Him. We must make sure that we are pursuing His will (and not our own) or we are living in a way that breaks His heart.
I hope that as you are dying to your flesh daily, remembering that in the end you are truly gaining. I hope that you also remember that when you endure, you will someday reign. And, when you fall short, I hope that you never forget that He is still faithful. So, I’ll end by proposing the same thought I began with slightly modified: have you ever been the cause of a deep betrayal? Was this offense towards the One who wants to call you His and capture you heart forever? I believe that these gut wrenching and human emotions of betrayal pierce Jesus’ heart when one of His decides to choose to betray.