06 apr On the Night that I was Betrayed
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9 NIV
Peter doesn’t cease to be straight up in his language does he? When insulted, offended or betrayed do not repay with like treatment, instead bless! Not our usual response. But he says, if you can do this, if you can forgive, and move to a place where you can bless, you yourself will be blessed.
I have called this blog ‘On the night that I was Betrayed’. It is based out of a message I preached on Good Friday this year, if you prefer to listen to the audio you can here:
Peter knew that Jesus was the greatest living example of that, because Peter himself had betrayed Jesus in a moment of Jesus’ greatest need, and yet Jesus chose to not just forgive and restore but bless and empower Peter for his future.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NIV 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
I love dinner parties. They create memorable moments and peaks of connection in our lives. There’s the dinner parties that happen just before you must say goodbye to people you love. Friends you have holidayed with, family who have been visiting you from afar; you have that meal on last night together. These are meant to be important bonding moments. We need this, they create a safe place, where hearts connect, we grow in who we are, by being affirmed, accepted & challenged to be greater by people who most love us.
Now throw into this sacred dinner party one of the group who’s being wonderful on the night, taking photos, laughing, BUT later slanders you with these photos on facebook. Trust is broken, betrayal is felt. All of us have experienced an offence of some sort, maybe less worse, maybe far worse!
vs 23 Jesus, on the night he was betrayed Judas at a similar dinner party, left and slandered Jesus, the betrayal led to Jesus’ arrest that very day and his death.
If we’re honest betrayal is one of the more shocking experiences on our emotional world. Although there are, of course, degrees of betrayal. The more usual things people might say or do that have the potential to offend us, there’s the betrayal of trust given, and there is the betrayal of safety and intimacy in the form of abuse.
Judas didn’t just betray Jesus to the authorities, he led them to Him and used a title of respect, “Rabbi”, followed with a kiss, a greeting of close friendship. This was a cutting betrayal.
You’re getting a little upset because your spouse is not giving you the attention you deserve; you are starting to dislike your boss because he or she never seems to acknowledge the work you are doing; you are starting to avoid someone or connect with them less because an aspect of their behaviour annoys you. These are amongst many things that we might experience.
But some of you are facing deeper forms of offence or betrayal. A sort of betrayal that may have left you feeling like part of you has died. Maybe a betrayal that left you feeling guilty, even though you are innocent.
There is freedom for you.
23 on the night he was betrayed, took bread … “This is my body, which is for you… he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood…
The cross is not a punishment from an angry God, but a gift of love. Jesus came to identify with our betrayal, embrace our betrayal and bring a solution to it.
His broken body, his flowing blood, washes our soul of the wounds of an offence. Puts in perspective the things others have failed us in.
There are 2 things that I want us to understand that bring healing to betrayal:
1. The problem is with them not you
Interestingly I don’t think Judas had expected the result of his betrayal to be death. Yes he had a money addiction and yes he had no regard for Jesus, but he was not a murderer.
It’s rare people are as bad as the betrayal portrays. This of course does not help. Especially if safe intimacy has been betrayed. Although in many cases the person is acting out of their own disfunction – yes they did not express love for you, but no they had not imagined the harm it would leave you with.
However, the problem is theirs, what they did is their disfunction! The receipt of offence is that it always tries to leave a person feeling wrongfully guilty, as it tried to with Jesus. But we do not need to take on their injustice, or the status of a victim, there is no guilt on us.
If you have felt like a victim, guilty or belittled because of treatment you have received – today, I’m telling you – you are NOT guilty!
2. The solution is with you not them
Jesus cried from the cross “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing”
* Forgiveness is the ONLY solution to an offended soul.
If you have been offended the only way to be free is to forgive. Unlock the cage in your heart that you hold the person in and let them go.
To push it to the background or try and forget it is not a solution. To cover it with other things that give you meaning and respect is not a solution. Eventually cracks from this offence will appear in your life.
If you are holding something against your spouse today – forgive. If something is annoying you about a friend or a colleague – forgive. If something has not been dealt with from your past – forgive.
How do I forgive deeper betrayal ?
On the night that He was betrayed His body broken for you – you can forgive because you know the pain is shared by Jesus. He broke for you deeper than you can imagine!
Start by saying the words “I forgive you” Start by renewing your thinking “This is their problem, I am not guilty” Let the washing and renewing of the Holy Spirit touch you every day.
I am believing with you that as you do this you will begin to walk in freedom. It may take forgiving that person several times, before true freedom is experienced, but start the journey today.