WAIT! WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? How DARE you say that!
Now, please bear with me and I think you will understand. It is hard to think of anyone in the Bible that is more reviled than Judas Iscariot. There are many that people revile, the Pharaoh when he refused to release the Israelites; Herod when he sent the soldiers to try to kill the infant Jesus; Pontius Pilate when he refused to intervene and stop the crucifixion; the Pharisees that demanded that Jesus be crucified and many others. But, none is more reviled than Judas. He betrayed Christ and was responsible for His crucifixion. He most definitely did, and while that was a horrendous act, it was absolutely necessary for us to have salvation. But, what do I mean when I say he was betrayed and why do you pity him? Judas is more complicated than can be seen at a cursory glance at the scripture. He was a disciple, he was with Jesus every and learned directly from Christ. Yet, he was preordained to betray Jesus and set in motion His crucifixion. Had he not betrayed Christ we would not have the salvation we all desperately need. Oh, had it not been Judas, God would have used someone else to do it. It was an absolute necessity. But, how was Judas betrayed? Why do you pity him? I’ll get back to that shortly.
I have been betrayed at times, by family, friends, co-workers, the list could go on but the fact remains that some of them have betrayed me. I have had people make inaccurate statements about me, some times with some truth but additional information added that was not true; had lies told about me; been stood up by friends, girlfriends, family when planning some event. Those betrayals have resulted in me being less trusting at times than I should be with others. It’s a fact that when trust is betrayed, it hurts. Unfortunately, I must confess that I have, at times, betrayed others. I am not proud of that, but in a variety of ways, I have done so. I seriously doubt anyone alive could say they haven’t both been betrayed and betrayed others.
One incident I remember, I was 14, it was Halloween and I was supposed to meet one of my very close friends to hang out. We didn’t have specific plans, weren’t planning on any mischief, maybe sort of trick or treat (we were not going to wear costumes) a few houses of friends, teachers and such that lived in our neighborhood. We were supposed to meet up at the grocery store about 2 blocks from both our houses. I got there a few minutes early and was waiting. He was not there when we had planned, and about 5 minutes later I wondered if he blew me off. About that time, two guys I knew, one a friend of my brother and another guy, both older than me, that I went to school with pulled up and were talking to me. Asked me if I wanted to go with them. Well, my buddy wasn’t there yet and seeing as I thought he ditched me, I figured okay, why not. And, I got in with them, as we were leaving I saw my buddy and waved, thought about telling the driver to stop so I could get out, but didn’t and off I went. We rode around a bit, managed to get some beer (FYI, I have never liked beer and still don’t.) I pretended to be a big shot drinking beer, hanging out with the big guys. We really didn’t do much other than ride around and I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but was now stuck. Finally, about midnight they dropped me off, about an hour after I was supposed to be home. As I was walking up the drive way, my mom was pulling out and when she got to me, she was crying. She told me that when I was late, she called my buddy’s house and found out I went with these other guys. She didn’t know who I was with, what I was doing, if I was safe or had been hurt. It really upset me that I put her through so much. I got grounded for a couple weeks as punishment for being late and for not being where I was supposed to be that night. Now, I had betrayed my friend, and that damaged our friendship. I tried to repair it, but it was never the same. We eventually drifted apart. The shame I felt and the hurt I caused him had caused me problems. Now, there are times that relationships can be mended, but also times they can’t. A lot depends on the sincerity of the betrayer and the willingness of the betrayed to forgive. It takes a lot more to fix something once damaged than to take care of it properly. I had betrayed him, but not just him, I betrayed my parents as well. And, the longest lasting impact of the betrayal was the fact I betrayed myself. My actions towards my friend, parents and self were wrong. I felt guilt and shame. I disappointed them, and me.
Back to Judas, yes, he betrayed Christ. His actions were horrible, to betray the trust Christ had in him as he kissed his cheek and then accepted his 30 pieces of silver.
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
Yes, Judas betrayed Christ, so stunning to think that anyone could betray someone that meant so much to them. But, his greed and other human emotions entered and the betrayal occurred.
3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. Matthew 27:3-5
Yes, Judas betrayed Jesus for a measly 30 pieces of silver, but he was also betrayed, by the chief priests and more importantly, by himself. He wanted to undo what he did, but it was too late, he suffered terrible guilt and remorse for his actions which was too much for him and he hanged himself.
Betrayal is a tricky thing, it can occur through a variety of actions, but when one betrays another, the effects are like ripples from throwing a stone in the water, they keep going, then when they hit the bank, return to the point of origin. We betray ourselves when we betray another. We carry guilt for that, or we should if we are true Christians and as such, need forgiveness from those we have betrayed, from ourselves and most importantly from God. No good may come of betrayal. I had some fun that night I mentioned but not enough to override the guilt I felt knowing that I was wrong.
However, through the betrayal of Christ, we have redemption of our sins, our betrayals of God and others. We must ask forgiveness for our betrayals and all our sins. We must confess those betrayals to the Lord and ask His forgiveness. Sometimes like with my friend, the betrayal damages things too severely. Yes, in that case a lot was due to lack of maturity on both our parts, but the blame does rest on me. He may have forgiven me eventually, maybe he did so years ago, but Greg, I apologize for my betrayal and I pray you find it in your heart to forgive me. To any others I have betrayed, I apologize and ask your forgiveness. I will ask God forgive me and to help me forgive myself as well for what any I betrayed. But, thankfully with Christ, we can be forgiven. God will forgive us.
Lord, I worship You in Your majesty. I glorify and praise You. I ask that You work in my heart that I be loyal and true, not betray others for any reason. That You put it in the hearts of any I have betrayed to forgive me, and help me forgive myself for those acts. I ask You to continue to work in my heart that I develop a mind like Christ and that I continue to seek after Him. That I become a more worthy servant and a better emissary of Jesus on Earth. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones, that any and all be drawn to You, to salvation and that they desire to follow You. I ask You put conviction in all hearts that they who are not saved seek the salvation You have available for all who recognize Your Son, Jesus Christ, and they confess their sins to You and that we all give themselves to Your will and not our own. Thank You for your mercy, blessings and my salvation.
I hope that this will be helpful to someone regardless of whether betrayed or betrayer. I hope that someone is blessed by my words. I thank you for taking time to visit my blog and read my posts. Have a blessed day and don’t be stingy when it comes to sharing your blessings with others. Be a blessing to someone today.