Your Judas

Read: Matthew 26

From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. (Matthew 26:16, NLT)

Sorry to be the one to break the news to you, but everybody gets a Judas in life.  At one point or another, you will bear the pain of someone you trusted thrusting a knife in your back.  It is simply, and sadly, the awful reality of living in a broken world alongside fallen human beings.

Among the 60 conspirators who assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 BC was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar not only trusted Brutus, he favored him as a son.  According to Roman historians, Caesar first resisted his assassins, but when he saw Brutus among them with his dagger drawn, he gave up. He pulled the top part of his robe over his face, and uttered those heartrending words immortalized by Shakespeare, “Et tu Brutus”, or as the historians have recorded, “You, too, my child?”

Julius Caesar was not the only one to know such treachery. The passionate Scottish patriot William Wallace experienced it when Earl Robert de Bruce betrayed him. Not even the brightest theological mind who ever lived—the Apostle Paul—or the most perfect human being ever—Jesus Christ—was spared. No one gets a pass on betrayal.

So here’s the thing: Are you willing to consider the possibility that God has a far deeper work to do in you that can only come through the betrayer’s knife?  Charles Spurgeon said,

“I bear willing witness that I owe more to the fire, the hammer and the file than to anything else in the Lord’s workshop.  I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod.  When my schoolroom is darkened, I see the most.”

The truth is, the fire, the hammer and the file of a betrayal may result in some of God’s finest craftsmanship—if you keep your heart soft and your eye on him. If you are going through the pain of a betrayer’s wound right now, remember, you are walking where great people have walked before. Their greatness came because they didn’t allow betrayal to ruin them; they learned how to turn their pain into greater usefulness for the Lord.

Jesus responded to Judas’ money-making treachery with obedient submission to God—and transformed the world.  Perhaps God wants to use your pain to form you, and transform your world.

Only a friend can betray a friend, a stranger has nothing to gain
Only a friend comes close enough to ever cause so much pain.
~Michael Card

What If God Took Over?

If you are going through the pain of betrayal, memorize and pray this psalm of David, who knew a little about betrayal:

“But I call to God, and the LORD saves me.  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice…Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” ~Psalm 55:16-17, 22

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