Day 30: Defining Moments

Read: Matthew 26: 14-25

We’ve all faced the pain of betrayal at some point in our lives. It may come from friends or family, but no matter the source, betrayal hurts. The emotional and relational violence done through the act of betrayal often takes years longer to heal than severe physical injuries.

While it’s likely that we have all experienced this, it’s equally as likely that we have all dealt this kind of pain to someone else. A perplexing condition of the human heart is the ability, and sometimes even willingness, we have to cause others the same kind of pain we ourselves have experienced.       

Judas’ defining moments are in this passage. In exchange for money, Judas betrays Jesus, the man that he has been traveling with for 3 years. We aren’t told too much about Judas, but John 12 mentions that he would regularly steal from the money that the disciples would collect for the poor. This seems to indicate that Judas’ heart was divided for much of his journey.

The thing that strikes me about Judas, however, is that he was in the same position as the other 11 disciples. He saw all the same miracles and all the same healings. He was on the boat when Jesus called the sea and in the crowd when He called for Lazurus to come out of the tomb. We get this idea that following God would be much easier if we just could see His miraculous work in our life more often, but Judas shows us that’s not necessarily the case.

Judas betrayed Jesus, but he is not the only one who broke faith with Him. Only a few hours later, Peter also turned his back on the Lord. And only a couple more days later, we see that all the disciples, locked within a house, have given up on Jesus. This is the story of us all. At times, like Judas, we all sell Jesus out for temporary pleasures. Other times, like Peter, we deny Him because we are afraid of what might happen if we claim him as our own. And sometimes, like the 11, we lock ourselves away because we’ve lost faith in the words that Jesus has spoken to us. We too commit relational violence to our Lord.

And yet, being rich in mercy, our God, though betrayed by the ones he came saved, persevered to give us salvation. It is this salvation that gives us a choice. We can stay trapped under the weight of our guilt and fear like Judas, which will lead to our death. Or like Peter, we can accept our calling and watch God turn our beauty into brokenness.

Think of ways you have betrayed Jesus – thoughts, actions, or words. Are you holding on to any guilt attached to these betrayals? If so, give it over to Jesus. You are forgiven. 

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