Thursday – A Day of Betrayal

When we think of Easter, our first thought is usually of the Resurrection. A Sunday morning that changed history. Sin conquered. Death conquered. The devil conquered. We have an empty tomb as proof of the once-for-all victory.

Or maybe we think of Good Friday. The day of the Crucifixion. The day Jesus Christ went to the Cross to receive the full brunt of God’s wrath for sin—yours and mine. The afternoon the sky became dark and the Savior said the words that ring with victory 2,000 years later: “It is finished!”

But our thoughts don’t quickly move to the Thursday that started the chain of events leading to Sunday. The day betrayal unleashed evil, although evil did not know this would be its undoing.

Betrayal. The word leaves us feeling raw. It stings. The experience leaves us feeling defeated. Sucker-punched. Blindsided.

For most of us, betrayal comes as a shock. We torture ourselves with questions.

How could he/she do this to me?

How could I have missed the signs?

Why didn’t I pay more attention?

If I had only known, I would have….

But we did not know. We did miss the signs. And we were left picking up the pieces, struggling to put our life back together.

No one would see signs of betrayal coming and do nothing, would they? No one who knew beyond any doubt that betrayal lay just around the corner would proceed on their merry way, without trying to stop it, would they? No one!

Yes, One.

One Person did just that. One person shared life with His betrayer for three years. He lived with him and ate with him. He conducted ministry with him and trusted His finances to him. All the while knowing how it would end.

Substitute

Jesus willingly allowed His betrayer to act, because He looked beyond the events of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Jesus looked to Sunday, His day of ultimate and permanent victory. And His victory meant our victory.

He knew betrayal was coming and didn’t stop it…and He did it for you and me.

Have you ever been betrayed? You’re not alone.
Tell Jesus about it. He understands.


Grudge Match

Betrayal.

The mere mention of the word causes my jaw to clench and the knot in my stomach to tighten. Memories flood back, unbidden. Resentment for things I’ve given to the Lord a hundred times begins to wrap its tentacles around my heart again.

Once more, I make a choice. I will not hold a grudge. I’ve forgiven that person. Life is fleeting—a mist that’s here one day and gone the next (James 4:14). I don’t want to waste even one minute in voluntary captivity to anger and bitterness that would permeate every area of my life if I let it.

Still, it’s easier to recognize this destructive tendency in others than it is to kick my own angry thoughts to the curb. Forgiving is hard. When the thoughts return—and they do—I have to make an intentional choice to forgive and move on. Every time. Again and again. No exceptions.

22 Forgiver

The world tells us we have a right to be angry. Sometimes even well-meaning Christians tell us abusive parents, backstabbing coworkers, and cheating spouses deserve to burn in hell and let’s give them a taste of that punishment right now.

But God says:

Let Me deal with that person.
Let Me heal your wounds.
If My Son was not spared the pain of betrayal, why should you be spared?

So I make a choice…again. I release the injustice, knowing I belong to a just Judge. I release the pain, knowing I belong to Yahweh Rapha, my Healer. I release it not because I want to, but because I have to.

For my own peace of mind and spiritual growth.

For the sake of my relationship with God and my relationships with others.

Most of all, I release it because of the great forgiveness God extends to me through the cross of Christ. No one will ever require as much forgiveness from me as I require from God.

My days are numbered. I don’t want to waste a single one carrying a grudge.

How about you?