Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shattered by Betrayal

We have likely all faced betrayal in our lives. Even Jesus experienced betrayal. As I was recently going through a lesson in Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible study titled "Hearts Broken by Betrayal" I loved some of her thoughts. She began with reading Psalm 55, where King David pours out his heart after the betrayal of a close friend. 

"For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God's house we walked in the throng." - Psalm 55:12-13

Beth then writes, "Only a person who has had intimate access to your heart can betray you to the point David described." Have you ever had a close friend turn their back on you and/or betray your trust? I'm sure we all, or at least the majority of us have. I know I have experienced that pain and it is something I would never wish upon anyone... when someone who knows the depth of your heart digs in deep, knowing full well that they will cause you pain. And this brings me to my next point.

Beth goes on to share that the betrayal Jesus faced when Judas brought a crowd to arrest him was different than the betrayal Jesus faced when his disciples fell away in fear. Evil and fear often cause one to betray another, but oh how different those motives are! The difference is premeditation. Judas knew exactly what he was doing and followed through, knowing the ramifications. The disciples responded quickly and in the moment. I would venture to say that intentional, premeditated, betrayal is the worst kind. Not only does the betrayal itself royally hurt, but the thought that someone so close to you sought out to cause you pain is almost unbearable.

Ok so, pretty somber realizations and truth here. But the good news in all of this is that because Jesus has gone through what we all go through, he can sympathize with us! "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." - Hebrews 4:15 We can find comfort when we face the pain of the turning of a friend. Beth, with more wisdom, shares, "To best know how to bind up the heart broken by betrayal, He chose to experience it. Christ ministers to the betrayed through His example." Not only does He offer comfort, He offers The Way. We can find the "higher road," if you will, by following the footsteps of Jesus. When someone close to you hurts you, are you tempted to fire back? I know I am. But by seeking to follow Jesus, I can (and you can!) find solutions that do not involve retaliating or responding in anyway that is unChristlike. He navigated through betrayal and pain without sinning. By following His ways, we can too (although, we will probably still be tempted!).

When the reality and pain of betrayal come your way, seek the comforting embrace of Jesus. And remember, He knows exactly how you feel.

"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted." - Isaiah 61:1

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