April 5 – Holy Week Devotional – Betrayal


Read Matthew 26:14-16; 20-25; 47-50


It’s such a hard and ugly word. In movies and novels, it’s a word used in a byline that marketers use to whet the appetite of the consumer. But in relationships… different story. It wreaks division, discord, revenge, and bitterness.

Betrayal is caustic, an invisible acid that eats away at the soul.

Guess what the greatest betrayal in history is. It’s this story! Really! If you Google, “What was the greatest betrayal in history?” Judas Iscariot tops out at #1.

If you’re familiar with Passion Week, you’ll know that nowhere is Judas’ scheming directly linked to this day. But since he left Thursday’s Passover meal to do the sinister deed, we can’t help but think that betrayal had to be on his mind on Wednesday.

Looking back, it’s natural for us to ask, “How could Judas have seen and experienced all that he saw and experienced – the miracles, the teaching, the authority, the wisdom, the love – and yet betray Jesus to the chief priests?”

Now, what I’m about to write, I’m writing with as much love and compassion and gentleness and understanding as I can.

Before we start wagging our fingers at Judas, maybe we should all take a long look in the mirror. If you look close enough, you’ll probably see a little Judas in the reflection… if you’re being honest.

How many commitments have you made on Sunday, only to fail on Monday… or no later than Tuesday?

How many times have anxiety or worry or stress or fretting betrayed the fact that you’re not trusting the sufficiency of Jesus?

… or has anger betrayed the fact that you don’t think Jesus is meeting your expectations?

… or jealousy or envy or greed gripped your heart and betrayed the fact that you aren’t content with what Jesus has provided in His grace?

How may times… well, maybe I’ll stop there. Feel free to continue with your own list.

I know, it sounds harsh… because the facts are. Yes, it’s sad. Yes, it’s embarrassing.

No one wants their name to be on the top of a Google list of betrayal!

Yet, there we are. We sit squarely in the seat with Paul who proclaimed, “… I am the worst [sinner].”

But there’s HOPE! Praise God, there’s hope! Betrayers can be reconciled! I like how Paul stated it:

For, if while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! – Romans 5:10.

The work of Jesus during Holy Week – His death and His resurrection – makes repentant betrayers holy!

[Mic drops here.]

Your Turn

I mean, what other response is there?! Thank God for His forgiveness!

Thank God that “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 5:1)

Thank God that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1) Thank God!

*If you’d like a downloadable version of this devotional click here.

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