The beginnings and endings of my favorite movies often vary. Some beginnings drew me in only to let me down in the end. Then, there are those that began with heartbreak but ended triumphantly. The story of Jesus being betrayed by Judas is one of those stories. Judas walked beside Jesus many days doing kingdom work. He had experienced the true essence of the Savior firsthand. Judas should’ve been convinced of who Jesus really was. Nevertheless, he would still come to betray Jesus.
The story of the greatest betrayal in history took place in Matthew 26. Could you imagine going through your day knowing that someone close to you was going to betray you? Could you imagine someone you’ve prayed with and loved dearly handing you over to die? What about someone who knew you intimately selling you out? The irony of it all was that Jesus knew all along what would happen yet He didn’t treat Judas any different leading up to that moment. He didn’t even reveal his identity to the other disciples. Jesus was the Son of God and 100% percent human. I’m sure He felt disappointment and His heart was extremely burdened. Even though He prayed, I’m sure He wasn’t elated about it. However, His love was greater than His grief. He knew the road to the cross wouldn’t be easy yet He was convinced it was worth it. Jesus was motivated by love.
While reading this story, I reflected upon the condition of my own heart during betrayal. My initial response was not love. I was very confused and wanted answers. I was hurt. I was angry. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to walk through because I consider myself to be quite loyal. There are people in my life that I’d go to the depths with. I would never intentionally turn back on anyone or give up on them unless I’ve done all I could. I have always loved hard. I’m sure that my pain was deepened because I knew in my heart of hearts that I would never have done what was done to me to anyone. If I felt this way with my sinful nature, I can’t fathom how Jesus may have felt at that moment.
Ultimately, there was a real beauty that came from Jesus’ story of betrayal. It was His death on the cross that bridged the gap created by sin between us and God. Judas had to betray Jesus in order for the blessing of salvation and eternal fellowship with the Father to be established. As I reflect on the blessings that came from my betrayal and hurt, I can see that I’m better for it. Now, I am more intentional about how I love and forgive people. It has made me a better sister, friend, daughter, mother, and wife. Now, I focus less on the offense itself and more on pleasing God by doing what He would do instead. It’s easier to love those who have wronged me because God requires that of me and He did the same for Judas. It also keeps me mindful of how I have turned my back of God when I’ve sinned. Romans 8:28 says all things work for our good and I’ve come to know that. Our experiences fashion us for God’s purpose just like Judas’ kiss aligned Jesus to fulfill His purpose.
During betrayal, we don’t always see God’s plan. He allows unfavorable things to happen to us so we can grow and His glory can be revealed in our lives.
Jesus may have been betrayed with a kiss but He was bestowed with a blessing. He was elevated to His rightful place in Heaven upon the throne.
Be grateful for your Judases. They are connected to your blessings.