If You've Ever Felt Betrayed: Jesus Understands
By Debbie McDaniel
“While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me--one who is eating with me." Mark 14:18
Betrayal. Chances are, if we’ve lived long enough, we know very well what this feels like. To be betrayed or wronged by one who was trusted is a difficult hurdle to get over. It can sometimes leave us stuck right where it happened, we spin it over in our minds a million different ways, asking all the why's, but there's usually no adequate answer to even satisfy.
He knows. He understands.
Judas Iscariot, one who walked with Jesus and knew him well, paid simple money to betray our Savior. 30 pieces of silver, given in exchange for His life. It seems almost incredible that he would fall for such a trap or be so wrapped in greed. Money can't be placed on any life. But on the very One who did so much for him, who offered such love and forgiveness?
The ultimate betrayal of a friend.
Yet Jesus knew it was part of a larger plan. And He still chose to say “yes” and walk that difficult road. Because He understood at the very core of it all, was our need to be set free.
Our need for forgiveness.
The crowd, who had just days before been praising His name as He rode into Jerusalem, suddenly changed. The tide had turned, things had shifted in the other direction. Jesus, once loved and followed by the multitudes, became the person the crowds turned hatred and insults upon.
His own disciples scattered, out of fear for their own lives. They ran. Away from him. In the darkest hours. Peter, one of his bravest, closest friends, even denied knowing him, 3 different times.
The deep hurt Jesus must have endured, the pain, the loneliness, is hard to imagine.
So often in this life when we are wronged, betrayed, offended, or treated unfairly, we want to rise up. To defend our rights and on our own point of view. Or we fight hard to get even. Or even stew in silence while nursing our wounds and getting more angry. It’s hard to extend the same grace and compassion that Christ Himself extended to others in the midst of his own pain. Yet He set the example, the way for us to walk.
He knew the trap of betrayal and unforgiveness, he saw through its lies, the deep wounds of the soul that it could cause. He chose the better way, stepped over its grasp, and chose to love, to forgive.
Unforgiveness, even towards ourselves, will keep us prisoner to the past, to the wrong, to the betrayal, to the offender. It will never allow us to move forward in the freedom of where God wants us to live. And even hidden resentments, the ones we think no one sees, or knows about, safely tucked away into a secret place in our souls, will weigh us down, trapping us in the very place we wish to let go of.
But we don't have to live there. We can make the choice to move forward.
Though forgiveness may never "feel" right, it will always "be" right. Because in it you will be set free. Choosing to forgive doesn't mean that the wrong never happened, it just means you refuse to allow it to control your life anymore.
Christ forgave. Huge love covering all the wrong, all the sin, all the barriers that block our way to God. He whispered these words up to His Father, grace words, breathing out love, through the suffering and the pain. He spoke them out loud. For those that persecuted Him. For us. For the world. “Father, forgive them…”
And He forgives. Still.
That covers a multitude of sin.
Let go. Give it to Him. He carried all the hurt for you. He understands your pain.
In Him, we are set free.
Intersecting Faith & Life: As you read over these words and remember how our Savior was betrayed and rejected by so many, ask for God’s help in healing those places where you may have been deeply wounded. He knows our pain, He understands. By His own wounds, He promises healing and restoration. Take the first step today. Confess your need for His touch of grace, give to Him all that has caused you pain. He never intends for us to stay stuck in our hurt, but will bring us through to the other side.