Shared… laughter, tears, secrets, hearts…
Forgotten… the meanings, the promises, the love…
A friend’s betrayal hurts. Not only is a back turned, but your life is spilled out through them to another. Your secrets, or thoughts, or quirks are given up to be mocked, laughed at, or turned into anger by another.
How many times have you lost a friend? Maybe this friend was someone you knew since childhood, or maybe this friend you have known for less than a year… lost friendship is bitter no matter the length…
The man who was betrayed never admitted bitterness or hurt. He simply admitted facts. He said that he would be betrayed and that he would be denied… backs would be turned to save face, earn money, or out of shame.
So many times He spoke of those who would turn away:
Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.
But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.
“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
I wonder if Jesus, knowing what was coming, ever felt sad at his friends. Did he feel loss or remorse? He did cry out to God right at the end, but He never cried out to his friends. However, Jesus died for them. He died for the ultimate betrayer: Judas.
How very sad… Judas. If he only had more faith in Jesus’ words. If he had only waited a few more days. He would have seen the truth and felt the forgiveness of the Father and Christ. His lies and deceit would have brought him down to his knees and Jesus would have lifted him up. His death was out of hopelessness. His act of returning the silver to the guards was a bribery of forgiveness and not an act of hope. Betrayal… who does it truly hurt the most?
David spoke of many things. He lived as a boy without a care in the world except his flock. He then faced a giant and won. He was mighty high on the gift of defeating the enemy. David was anointed and then ran in fear. He lived in caves and thought of ways to praise God when alone. His life was a whirlwind and even as king sitting on the throne, he had many enemies…. even the crafty ones who decorated themselves as friends. Betrayers.
Psalm 41: 9-12
Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
But You, O LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up,
That I may repay them. By this I know that You are pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.
Just as Jesus knew, David knew that he was set-up in God’s presence and even if he faced persecution, his integrity and life belonged not to the man who would stab him in the back, but to the Father who gave him thus.
If you are ever faced with someone who hurts you, be it family, friend or acquaintance, do you lower yourself to their standards and stab them back or hold on to the truth and the integrity that is brought along with it? Do you hold your head high not out of pride but because of the grace that was poured over you even in the midst of hurt and sorrow? Jesus suffered so we wouldn’t have to. We hurt and cry and grieve, but that is only temporary… and to leave a legacy for those to follow the path to the cross, you must keep yourself in that light and be the bigger person… carry whatever burden that you need to because you will never carry it alone. They can betray and stab and hurt, but maybe it’s them that is the one who is hurting and it’s them that need the prayers. Pray for your betrayer. Pray for your persecutor. Pray for those who feel the need to stand back and not step up. It is time.