Holy Week: Day



Today's Text: Psalm 41:9, Matthew 26:47-56

Text: Psalm 41:9, Matthew 26:47-56

The betrayal of a friend. Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. The days are going to get much darker before they get light again.

As I study the account of Christ’s betrayal today, I can’t help but be taken by the truth that Christ knew Judas would betray Him – he even knew the price – and yet, he called Judas “friend.”

He broke bread with him at dinner. He prayed with him. He talked to the Father about what he would soon do.

And when the soldiers came and Judas identified Jesus with a kiss, Christ’s response wasn’t anger. He didn’t spit unkind, vindictive words at Judas while being wrestled away. He went quietly. Even when His beloved disciple and friend gave Him over for 30 pieces of silver (about a month’s wages), He went in love.

I’ll be honest. I can’t even imagine.

And He went in obedience. Christ’s submission to the Father’s omnipotent hand was unwavering.

And I wonder today: what does it really mean to be Christ to someone who has done you wrong? When you are hurt – really wounded – by a friend or family member, can you say to the Lord,

“I am certain that I want to honor you more than I want to feel vindicated.” [source]

Christ’s response to Judas wasn’t a sign of weakness (though I know even His closest friends may have thought differently). It was love. Love for Judas. Love for The Father.

And in His love, He honored His Father, just as He had promised in Gethsemane.

And in His love – not just for Judas, and not only for the Father, but for us – He was led to His trial. And He was sentenced to death. And His blood covers my betrayals and yours. It covers the times we’ve chosen a month’s wages over honoring the One we call Lord. It covers the times we push Him aside to further ourselves.

Your betrayals and mine. His blood covers it all. And He calls us “friend.”

  • Mindi Huebner

    Raechel, I read this 5 years ago and shared it. Facebook just reminded me in my memories how hopeful and true it still is. I will be sharing again. Thank you so much for this beautiful, hope filled wisdom!

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so glad to hear that Mindi and that you were brought back to this 5 years later. So grateful for you! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Mindi Huebner

    So powerful and spoke right to my heart. I am a constant work in progress and though I have never put it into these exact words,
    “I am certain that I want to honor you more than I want to feel vindicated.” that is exactly how I feel. Thank you.

  • I read today’s devotion with a trembling heart. God has been showing me that even if I have the very right to be angry, or mad, that because of His love for me. I should forgive and show love. Forgiveness is not based on the other persons wants, or even admission of wrong or asking for forgiveness. It’s something I continue to do in my heart because of Gods love for me and my love and honor and obedience to Him. It always amazes me how God will show you a lesson that he wants to learn a multitude of times in different formats being patient with us until it sinks in! God knows his ways & thought are different from mine and he is generous and patient with me-Amen!!!

  • MamaRose

    Amy, I love your quote for GodPosts. Once God strengthened me enough to let go of my past, I was free. I am easy to forgive everyone but myself. I still have pity parties, but God only allows me about five minutes before He yells, "ENOUGH!" At that point, I know the party is over and I start listing all the blessings I have and the smile returns to me face. The devil is a tough hombre, he will mess with you and mess with you. He will use everything he can to bring you low. He is relentless, but he is not more powerful than God. There is a quote I ran across some time ago. These are not the exact words, but it goes something like this: "Tell me how bad your storm is and I will tell you how great of my God is."

  • Ellen MR

    Me three! Hahaha :) Hi Em!
    Watching “The Bible” repeated from Sunday- the Last Supper and Judas’ betrayal….oh my!
    How awful! It just has so much more meaning for me this year. I really need to cultivate loving those who may have hurt me- intentionally or not.
    Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness , and incredible love !

  • LaurenC_

    I stand in complete awe of our Lord. For weeks now, each time I have logged on to our reading plan, going back to the beginning of Songs of Ascent, most of the verses have been familiar to me & ones I thought I understood in a particular way. And then I read the devotional and it may as well been signed "Dear Lauren…. Love, God." Today was no different: I have been dealing with painful betrayals from members of my family for a very long time. Some have been so consistent, it is no longer a shock when it happens. I basically expect it now. There has been a resurgence in the toxicity of those persons and their betrayals recently, and I've been sucker-punched a few times. Never fun nor easy. But another betrayal came from a person who I thought would be the last person to betray me, particularly in this very painful time of grief I am experiencing. While this season of my life has been truly the most heartbreaking experience I have ever had, may ever have, I can't deny that being betrayed by others more importantly reveals some ugly truths in my life. I am instantly connected in my heart & mind to times when I have betrayed most everyone in my life including Jesus and myself. It's ugly. It's hard to know. But I can't deny it. I pray for wisdom and compassion. I pray for forgiveness.

    I can't really describe the comfort I am feeling right now, as our Lord is using SRT in the most real and true way imaginable. So many times I have cried out to Him: "Please speak to me in words I can understand!!" And here it is, praise God. I agree with Carolynmimi; the devotionals and all of your comments are so greatly comforting, knowing I am not alone. I feel so blessed to be here. Thank you Lord and thank you all.

  • When I read these passages I am reminded of a verse from 'Immanuel' by Stuart Townend:

    'Through the kisses of a friend's betrayal,
    He was lifted on a cruel cross;
    He was punished for a world's transgressions,
    He was suffering to save the lost.
    He fights for breath, He fights for me,
    Loosing sinners from the claims of hell;
    And with a shout our souls are free –
    Death defeated by Immanuel.'

    Such an example of grace and love. Thank you Jesus.

  • Sue, that is indeed something to ponder. What if Judas chose not to kill himself? What if he chose to seek forgiveness for the crime he committed against Jesus? Would God have forgiven him and used him in a mighty way for Christ?

    I have betrayed Jesus so many time. I have been Judas, who betrayed Jesus for something so trivial and unimportant. Just recently, I chose to run from what I believed God wanted me to do. But I sought His forgiveness and now I am free to go and do the thing He asked of me. Just like Jonah :)

  • adelineoh

    I'm just so glad I'm not the only one who feels like I have had a knife plunged into my heart from today's word. Ouch, ouch, ouch. So painful but so good and so true. All I can say is thank you Lord for your grace and mercy because I definitely am not worthy of what You did for me. And as I am confronted more with the mirror of your word, it shows the dirt and all the darkness in my heart. Let me come to the point to want to honour You more than needing to be vindicated to satisfy my own pride.

  • What a friend we have in Jesus.

  • Marangelie

    Jesus is so Good to us everyday in every situation, He is the one who should lead us in everything that we do and in every circumstance because even when he was betrayed by Judas He forgave Him and we shall do the same when we are betrayed/hurt by those that we care about. God Bless you my sisters!!!!

  • jesusgirl71

    Kandacejo, I love what you said here! Never thought of this! Whatever the enemy says, the opposite is true! Wow!

  • Carolynmimi

    Oh SRT Sisters, Every post today sets off bells in my heart…how alike we all are, struggling with disappointment, betrayal, self condemnation, our own sins past and present…how alike we are struggling to trust in Him, struggling to obey, struggling to forgive others and ourselves…in every post today, I have felt His presence, His overwhelming love and grace…thank you all for sharing, because I know that it cost you to be so transparent, so raw, but you have all blessed me. I believe, I hear our Savior calling, "Come home, come home. Ye who are weary come home." Let's all run and jump into the welcoming lap of God, feel His arms around us, and say, "Abba, Daddy, I love You."

  • jesusgirl71

    This is what hit me today. Yes, it’s amazing enough that Jesus covered our betrayals. But do you know what else His blood covered? Others’ betrayals of us! So that being the case, what right do we have to react harshly to others? To not react in love? To hold grudges? Ouch!

  • jesusgirl71

    This is what hit me today. Yes, it’s amazing enough that Jesus covered our betrayals. But do you know what else His blood covered? Others’ betrayals of us! So that being the case, what right do we have to react harshly to others? To not react in love? To hold grudges? Ouch! I don’t know about you all but that stepped on my toes today, sisters!

  • Its a great reminder and a great way to put your life back on track knowing that NO MATTER WHAT we do throughout our day, He will ALWAYS call us friend, even when we betray Him. How incredible.

  • Thomasina

    "It covers the times we've chose a months wages over the One we call our Lord"
    Whoa! I have struggled so much financially that I had lost sight of the truth that He is and always has provided for me. Yet I chose to focus on "making things happen" and betrayed the One who truly makes things happen!
    I thank God for His death on the cross that covered a sinner like me. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

  • Betrayal = Love + Forgiveness

    It’s such a simple equation, and yet the workings behind it, for my very human nature, is so difficult to follow through with… Unless I make God the overriding author of it.

    Lord, grant me the submission to follow you, in every daily practice as I traverse this road of life. Your will, your way, your redeeming love. Amen

  • Madeline

    We have all betrayed and have been betrayed. It can be so easy to remember those who betrayed me, and forget those I betrayed. I can be so guilty of that.
    But Jesus understands when we are betrayed and is there to comfort us.
    Jesus also know when we have betrayed and is there to welcome us back, like he did with Peter.
    May be all follow his example of forgiveness and grace.

  • Jessie Glass

    Wow. On multiple levels.

    Christ knew Judas was going to betray him, but he still called him friend. He knows me and the NUMEROUS times I would betray him, or simply turn my back on him, but he still died in my place. He still obediently followed God’s will, and plan for salvation. He didn’t seek vindication. He didn’t seek to be right. “Christ’s submission to the Father’s omnipotent hand was unwavering.”

    What about mine?

  • Charmaine

    As I first started reading this I thought oh I may not have anything to add. Then I kept reading the comments and realized… You are no different than Judas! In fact you left and betrayed Christ a few times because of anger. Even now I’m struggling to get closer to him. I wonder since he knew Judas would betray him and he called him friend, and I did it a few times does he call me friend? I know I wouldn’t! How can he trust me? Lord I am soooo sorry I want to be called your friend. I’m struggling to forgive myself by trusting that you have forgiven me.

  • "Christ knew Judas would betray Him – he even knew the price – and yet He called Judas 'friend'."

    Just amazing. Miraculous. I live my life half-asleep. One foot in this world – change that – immersed in this world with my pinky toe in the next. Oh Lord, teach me how to live on earth as a citizen of heaven. Forgive me for turning a deaf ear to your gentle whispers. Thank you that you call me "friend" in spite of how often I fail you. I am humbled by your goodness, your kindness and your grace. Change me, Lord, as only You can.

  • I love all your comments. I haven't written as I fell ill from a craft show where the vendors next to me smoked. I am one of those hypersensitive people. I had warned them when i signed up, but they only told them not to, didn't follow up. It was 12 hours of torture and then my nervous system goes crazy and I get angry over anything. So…somewhat back on track. I think this world is just hard to navigate through. It is a constant denominator, the enemy lies. God loves and brings us back to Hm. But am thankful I found some healing rooms to go to and will start doing that again like I used to where we used to live. So…just checking in…love you much :)

  • I have been Judas. It's a painful confession. I have been so angry, so offended and hurt at God in the past. How could He let _______ happen to me, his faithful servant? To his devout follower? And then, with indignant, self-righteous fists clenched, turned away from Him…and followed after my own desires.

    I wonder if Judas was harboring any offense towards Jesus when he went to make the deal with the Pharisees? Perhaps something Jesus said in a sermon to His followers hit a sore spot within Judas heart. What if, instead of repenting, Judas chose to let an offense fester and decay within, eventually hardening His heart towards God? Perhaps we see the signs of his anger when he chews out Jesus for allowing Mary to anoint Him with expensive oil in Bethany (John 12).

    Forgive me sisters, if my imaginings seem indulgent. We surely know that Judas's betrayal was a fulfillment of prophecy. I can't help but wonder how it all started. I just know how easily it all went down for this former "judas" here.

    Lord, I need You! Every day. Don't let any hurt and offense fester inside me, but drive me closer to Your arms where I am safe and healed. Cover me, as I leave it all at Your feet Jesus.

    "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…" Psalm 17:8 (ESV)

  • Carolynmimi

    "And I wonder today: what does it really mean to be Christ to someone who has done you wrong? When you are hurt – really wounded – by a friend or family member, can you say to the Lord, ' I am certain I want to honor you more than I want to be vindicated.' "

    Externally, I carry this out, even in my head, I reject thoughts of vindication.

    And yet, Lord, help me!
    Deep in my spirit, in that dark corner no one sees but You,
    there is a heap of garbage, the stench of which can be carried on any wind of reminder Satan stirs up within.

    Lord Jesus, I admit I have become a hoarder of my past hurts, my failures, my own betrayals of others and of you.

    I cling to them for no reason other than my own stubborn will.

    Why, Lord? Help me part with these remnants, these rags of my past.

    I confess I know they dishonor you.

    Forgive me!
    Oh, Lord, my God, I want only to be your loving and obedient daughter.

    Free me!
    Oh, Lord, my God, I want to love like You love.

    Focus me!
    Oh, Lord, I want to be more like You, inside and out.


    • Cathy

      "And yet, Lord, help me!
      Deep in my spirit, in that dark corner no one sees but You,
      there is a heap of garbage, the stench of which can be carried on any wind of reminder Satan stirs up within."

      oh how this rings true for me. In His refining fire, may those garbage dumps deep within be turned to ash heaps. "Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25)

      Thank you Carolynmimi. Your words resonated deep within me this morning!

      • Sue :-)

        Oh, I need to journal this too! Thought provoking….It is never buried so deep that God doesn’t see it or Satan can’t stir it up

  • What struck me again in reading this familiar story is that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him three times…not once but three times, the same number of times Peter had denied Jesus. Peter’s response was first to get hurt. I wonder when the significance of three times hit him.

    Three is an number of great significance in the Bible. It indicates perfection, completeness. “It is finished. ”

    • JuneBug

      Ooooh…I love the connection you made between 3 questions and 3 denials. Makes me want to crack open my bible and study this more in depth. Thanks LindaG!

  • As I read the scripture this morning, I pondered how Judas betrayed the Lord for a month's wages. I thought, "I would never do that for so little." Then I realized that I have betrayed Him, at times, for far less. How often have I turned my back on His Word or His gentle nudging to save face? What a hypocrite I have been! This filled me with sorrow. I think it may be the first time I felt bad for Judas. The sorrow he must of felt when he realized what he had done. I am so very thankful for our Lord's love and forgiveness. I pray that He gives me strength to be faithful and drink whatever cup I have been given. Indeed, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!

    • Kim

      Kristy – those were my thoughts, too! I have looked at Judas for years and wondered how he could do that! He KNEW Jesus, he walked alongside Him and was taught by Him. But. . . so have I, and ow many times have I betrayed him for far less! My shame is great! So thankful that His blood covers our betrayal and He still calls us friend!

      Praying to etch those words from Scottie Smith on my heart “I am certain that I want to honor you more than I want to feel vindicated,” as I continue my walk each day!

    • Sue :-)

      My thoughts also were on Judas. Oh, the anguish he must have felt once it sunk in what he had done. And my mind thinks, what if he had not committed suicide? Would God have picked him up, dusted him off with love, and used him to further the Glory? I believe emphatically that if Judas had chosen to live and be forgiven, our Glorious Saviour would have forgiven him and blessed him, and used him with the other 11, to spread the gospel.

  • Sherry_H

    This really spoke to me. It's fairly easy for me to forgive my husband. It's fairly easy for me to forgive my children. But there are others that it is not so easy to forgive. It's tough to swallow the fact that Jesus doesn't want us to pick and choose… we should forgive ALL. Not only forgive, but be kind to, treat them as a friend. Not easy.
    I pray that we can all work on this. I pray for grace and mercy.

    "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." (Psalms 86:5 KJV)

  • rocknitat55

    I have to admit this mornings devotion just slapped me in the face. Betrayal, Betrayer. Thank God for the love of Jesus who had an ultimate plan. I often times think of the betrayals n my life and when I do its always what others have done to me! Funny how most of us never think of things that we’ve done or said. (Omission/comission). After all we are God fearing,tongue talking,filled with the spirit ladies. Lol. But as I go inward and humble myself there is no doubt that somewhere during the course of my life I betrayed someone. Thank God for grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Thank God for second chances. Some given by the persons wronged, but always given by jesus.

    How timely God is, I will continue to sing the praises of SRT as it is a vessel that God speaks through. When we cry out to God he is not slow to answer!

    ” I am certain that I want to honor you more than I want to feel vindicated.” Ladies I have to admit my flesh struggled with this statement this morning. My head said yes Lord, but my broken heart, and my battered flesh says no!

    When I said timely, its because I was approached and asked to meet with someone who would like to meet with me concerning what I consider issues of betrayal. This is a Pastor, I was the Assistant.

    Its been about a year, I have moved on. No ill will, in fact I have much love n respect for this person. My immediate response was no! Why, I am not saying I’m sorry, I did nothing… I. Finally calmed down enough mutterd father forgive me and sputtered WWJD for the rest of the day. Imagine my delight as I arose early this morning to God ministering to me through this devotion. Do I humble my flesh and honor God or do I remain vindictive. I hit the (source) and read the lovely prayer, it was as if my heart was speaking in that letter to God.

    Jesus this morning I want to tell you thank you for not giving up on me. Even when it is I who have betrayed you. Thank you for your open door policy. Through your guidance and strength I can and will extend the same courtesy to others. Amen.

    Ladies forgive the length, but I just wanted SRT to know that just how relavant this is in my life, in all my drama. Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

  • Oh, such a tough word. I am battling to understand what forgiveness really means and what love really looks like when you've been hurt deeply. I have been betrayed by my husband…and understanding how to forgive–even when someone doesn't repent or acknowledge that they've done wrong–is so so hard. 1 Cor. 13:5 "[Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.

    I'm learning that everything goes back to the cross. When I think about what Jesus has done for me, in light of my betrayal of him, I am speechless. He endured not just the pain of the cross and the betrayal of those closest to him, but the pain of separation from God, all knowing that so many of us wouldn't accept his gift. He is so very gracious. And if Jesus can forgive me, I must find a way to forgive others. Father, send my Your Spirit so that I may bear fruit and follow Your example.

    • Allison

      Well-said, Nicole! Praying for your strength to forgive and understand in the midst of betrayal.

    • Melissa

      I needed to read what you wrote this morning. I too have a past of betrayal with my husband. I knew, reading the comment section this morning, that I was going to read something profound that pertained to my struggles with him. It keeps no record of wrongs? How could that even be? It seems so…. wrong. And in the eyes of our world, it's naive to think that the past has no bearing on the future. But our world is wrong. It's our world that is WRONG. Help me, Lord, to see through Your eyes instead of through the eyes of my flesh. Help us to forgive those, God, that have betrayed us, just as You forgive us an absurd amount of times, even in just one day. Thank You for Your never failing love. Thank You for never keeping a record of our wrongs.

      • Nicole

        "Thank you for never keeping a record of our wrongs." Yes, yes, yes. Thanks so much for sharing that! I was nervous to post the ugly details of my life, but so glad that it was useful. :)

    • Becky

      I also have been betrayed by my husband. It has been a while, and I feel like I have crossed over to a place of healing now. I can tell you that the only way to forgive is to constantly yield your anger and hurt up to God. Daily, hourly, every minute sometimes. While I have not betrayed my husband in the way he betrayed me, I have betrayed God many times, in my mind and with my actions, and he continues to forgive. As humans, we don't have the ability to forget past hurts, but they can be a reminder to draw lose to the only One who truly understands these hurts and the only One who can truly heal.

      • Nicole

        Thanks, Becky, for opening up and sharing. For me, it is still early and very very raw. I sometimes feel like the pain is going to choke me. But I do what you say–yield my hurt to God–and he always takes me back to the cross. He knows the pain of betrayal even better than I and he commands me to forgive and to love. What right do I, wretched sinner and betrayer myself, have to say no? "As humans, we don't have the ability to forget past hurts, but they can be a reminder to draw close to the only One who truly understands these hurts and the only One who can truly heal." So true and so needed today. Thank you. <3

    • Sue :-)

      And me also; I have been hurt and betrayed by my husband, and like you’ve all said, we need to give it up to God and live as Christ’s example of perfect love. I needed to be reminded of that this morning. God always has perfect timing!

  • WOW! He still calls me friend…

    • sue

      I just can't seem to put into words what I am feeling right now………so I love yours!

  • “I am certain that I want to honor you more than I want to feel vindicated.”

    LOVE that! I want that statement to be true of me. But, oh, it can be so hard to die to self and say no to the flesh! Only possible with Holy Spirit help.

    Thank you, Jesus, for all that you’ve done for us, giving us your spirit, and loving us the way you do!

  • Amy, praying for you this morning. Been there! Resist the devil and he will flee from you, draw near to God and He will draw near to you! Praying you will resist the attacks of the devil and rest in His Peace that passes all understanding today! When He sees our face He sees the renewed blemish free spotless beautiful useful girl that he wants to shine His light through to others today! He makes ALL things new! A NEW PAST! He doesn’t even see our old self when he looks at us! Enjoy his love today!

  • “I am certain that I want to honor you more than I want to feel vindicated.”

    Oh, for grace to love as Jesus did!

  • AmyKelly213

    I have to admit this morning's devotion was a tough pill for me to swallow. I've been shaking, fighting back tears, fending off toxic thoughts that only Satan can provide. I had even decided not to post this morning… I didn't feel I had anything worthy to share. After all, I am more the betrayer than the betrayed. I had even moved on to the rest of my morning routine. Until I stumbled on a post from GodPosts…

    Don't torture yourself over the past. Use it as a teacher. Whatever happened to you in the past has only prepared you for now.

    My past is my past. I was once a Judas who has felt God's love, God's Grace, and God's Forgiveness. And had it not been for the first Judas, what was written in the scriptures might never have come about. And then where would I be?

    But NOW, I am resting in the arms of my Sweet Jesus as He holds me, comforts me, and gives me strength to persevere. He fights my battles, He calms my storms, He loves me despite all my ugliness. My past is my past, and my future is secure with the Savior who loved me enough to take on the cross more than 2000 years ago so that I may find mercy with my Father.

    • Candacejo

      So true Amy! The enemy delights in reminding us of our past failures, that is his job! But remember he is a liar, the father of lies. And anything he tells you,the opposite is true! You don't need to look over your shoulder, you just need to forgive yourself. And that is the hardest thing to do. We have that new mind and that new spirit in Christ but it is like we have our old brain :)

      Nail it to the cross once and for all. Don't take the list down and examine it anymore! Jesus is using you in so many new ways, as you said, the past is the past, what an exciting future you have!

      "…always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins." Colossians 1:12-14

  • Oh the love of Jesus is so genuine- I have to admit this hit home today. So grateful that the Lord knows when I need a personal word that can apply to everyday life situations. I know he’s working on me in this area of life and yes, it’s a hard lesson to learn because sometimes I have trouble getting past SELF. So very thankful that he loves me in spite of my faults.

  • Autumn Dawn Leader (aka Songmistress)

    How awesome the love of Jesus! How thankful I am for that love that caused Him to be betrayed (to allow Himself to be betrayed) in order for all my betrayals to be covered. This sacrifice that means my hope and freedom. I’m in awe again. I’m reminded of that Matt Redman song, Once Again. “Once again I look upon the cross where you died, once again I’m humbled and I’m broken inside, once again I thank you, once again I pour out my life.”

    And, yes, I’m struck by the example: how Jesus handled the betrayal, and how far short I come in my attitude. But, hallelujah, His grace abounds, the precious blood He shed avails! For me. And, He’s working on me, and “I’m certain I want to honour Him…” Now, it’s getting to the place where I want that “MORE than I want to feel vindicated.” As I say, He’s working on me there. He is faithful to complete His good work. Amen.

  • Oh what an example I have in Jesus. Jesus you show us how to treat the people who betray us, yes it is so difficult, YOU show us how to love. Love is what matters. Jesus make me more like you. This time I will be still and know that YOU are God. Speak to my heart. I love you forever my Jesus. Thank you that you love me and gave me the cross. I am your daughter forever.

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