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.”