Sunday, August 12th, 2012
The Blessing Of Betrayal
Jesus said to him, 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?'
Luke 22:48 (NKJV)
From the ends of the earth we hear singing: 'Glory to the Righteous One.' But I said, 'I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!'
Isaiah 24:16 (NIV)
The betrayal of Jesus cries out to us as the greatest crime in history. Did it become the greatest blessing, too? We received life on that cross, but what about Jesus? He was blessed, too. He had a mission to finish, and He finished it in perfect glory--defeating an evil king in the process. But even more...
imagine loving someone beyond measure. Maybe you do. Then saving that person's life. A few of us have. Consider the joy you would feel in being able to live with that person forever. Now multiply your imaginings by all of God's children. Multiply the joy, too. That's what Jesus felt.
Therein Jesus was blessed by His Own betrayal--though it didn't seem that way at the time.
Personal betrayals lay our hearts bare. King David describes one of his many betrayals: 'We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God... The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords' (Psalm 55:14,21).
Jesus warns us: 'You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends' (Luke 21:16).
So where's the blessing for the one betrayed? It's in the promised light of God's exposure: 'For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known' (Luke 12:2). Why is this painful light good?
Because it allows a clean break without doubts. 'Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit' (John 15:2). We are those beloved branches, and every gardener knows that dead wood steals energy, time, and space. Cutting it away allows healing and promotes new growth.
I've been betrayed big and small. Trusting people often are. But God loves our trust. He will mend our hearts and increase our lives to be better than before... every time.
'To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified' (Isaiah 61:3).