Making A Difference In The Nation's Capital Through Prayer And Action

Day 7: The Betrayal

Mar 29, 2021

Countdown to the Resurrection

Jesus Confronts His Betrayer

There are different kinds of pain in this life. One of the worst is that of betrayal by someone close to you, someone you love. In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare describes the betrayal of Caesar by Brutus, his close friend and associate, as “the unkindest cut of all.”

That’s how it feels.

One can imagine, then, how the air went out of the room when Jesus tersely announced, “One of you shall betray me.”

Typically, the Passover Seder is a joyous occasion as the celebrants reflect on God’s miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Yet, on this night, Jesus interrupts the liturgy with His startling pronouncement of impending betrayal.

Suddenly, sorrow, doubt and uncertainty gripped the disciples.

What?

Betray you?

Who?!

Is it I? Surely you don’t mean me!

He can’t mean me! I would never do such a thing!

To all of this, Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.”

This mixture was the charoset, a sweet and bitter concoction intended to remind the people of the mortar from their days as brick-making slaves. How bittersweet this evening had now become.

It’s difficult to imagine what Jesus felt when He knew His betrayer was with Him at the table. For Judas to be able to share Jesus’ bowl meant he had to be sitting very close to Jesus. In fact, at the Seder, there was a special seat called the Seat of Honor. Many suggest Judas was occupying that seat. Imagine!

King David writes of a similar experience. Psalm 41:9 states, “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” The phrase “turned against me” literally reads, “lifted up his heel against me.” In today’s parlance, someone might say, “I feel like I just got kicked in the gut!”

That’s how betrayal feels.

And this betrayal was by someone who walked with Jesus for three years, who witnessed miracles, who heard divine truths coming from the lips of the Master, who accompanied Jesus to the temple for worship, who experienced the raising of Lazarus and the calming of the sea.

But now, Satan has entered his heart. He’s made a deal with the Pharisees to identify Jesus and turns Him over to His enemies “with a kiss.”

Again, one gets a glimpse of the pain of that moment in the psalmist David’s words. “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers” (Ps. 55:12-14).

Have you ever been betrayed by someone you love, someone you trust, someone with whom you once enjoyed “sweet fellowship”?

At Faith & Liberty, we know how that feels.

But what does one do in that moment? As a follower of Jesus, how does one respond? Do we strike out? Do we scream in anger or try to defend ourselves? Do we strive for vengeance?

Listen again, carefully, to the words of King David. “As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress [Can you sense David’s pain and anguish here?], and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change—he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God” (Ps. 55:16-19).

What is David saying? In this terrible moment of betrayal and intense pain, he cries out to God for help. In David’s distress, if he has to pray morning, noon and night, he will do so. Why? Because he knows God hears his voice; God sees his pain and betrayal.

David testifies that the Lord rescues him, the Lord witnesses those who betray and attack him, and He will humble them.

David lays all his pain and anguish at the throne of God, the one who does not change, and trusts that God will vindicate him.

And Jesus does the same thing. In spite of the pain of betrayal, He shares the bowl, the cup and the bread with His betrayer. How can He do that? Because His trust is in His Father in heaven. Jesus does not lift His hand against Judas. Instead, He puts the fate of His betrayer in the hands of His Father, the unchanging one, the righteous one who judges the heavens and the earth.

Even more, the Gospel of John makes clear that at the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, Judas was included. Yes, Jesus even washed the feet of His betrayer.

How is that possible?

Here it is: Like David, Jesus knew who He was in the Father. “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist” (John 13:3-4).

Have you been betrayed? Turn your pain over to the Lord. Cry out to Him!

This is our message to our national leaders—and it is our message to you! Remember who you are in the Lord and be assured that He loves you. He knows what is true, what is right, what is just—and He will deliver you.

Our prayer for you this Easter season is that you will find grace, strength, comfort and justice in Jesus the Messiah!

Thank you for standing with Faith & Liberty. Our work in Washington, D.C., is only possible because of your faithful support. May all of God’s very best be yours!


Faith & Liberty is an evangelistic ministry, taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nation's top elected and appointed officials. Our mission is simple: To bring the Word of God to bear on the hearts and minds of those that make public policy in America. We rely on your support to accomplish this important ministry. Thank you for your generosity.


TAKE ACTION