Daily Devotion - March 31- 2021 - Betrayed

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – March 31, 2021
Reading: John 13:21-38
Weekly Theme: Christ Lives
Today: Betrayed

Holy Week culminates with the Good News that Jesus lives. But we know the path leading to his overcoming death was heart wrenching. Jesus was betrayed by his own disciple, Judas. Have you ever experienced betrayal? What does this word so critical to the story of Jesus’ crucifixion mean? It has several definitions, all of which are appropriately used in telling the story of how Judas betrayed Jesus. It means to lead astray or seduce someone to do something that is wrong; to deliver to an enemy by deceit; to fail or deceit someone in their time of need; or to abandon one’s true ideology or true, life philosophy. All these descriptions of the word betray appropriately describe what Jesus experienced in the week leading up to his crucifixion.

Why would we place a devotion on this topic with a weekly theme entitled Christ Lives? Because Christ does live and sits next to God the Father, interceding on our behalf. One reason Jesus came to earth, was to experience all that humans experience to include the emotions one feels when they are betrayed by close friends. In today’s reading, Jesus is about to have his last supper with his disciples. In the previous verses to this passage, Jesus has washed the feet of his disciples to include Judas who was entrusted to be the treasurer. Today’s reading begins with Jesus telling his disciples that one of them will betray him. All of them began to look at one another and wonder who it is? Peter even leans over to Jesus and asks him who it is. In the Matthew account of the Jesus' betrayal (Matthew 26:12), each disciple asks, “Is it I?” Peter sitting next to ask Jesus who will betray him.  Jesus tells Peter the one whose bread he dips will be the one who betrays him and then dips and hands the bread to Judas who ate the bread. Satan then entered him and he left to betray Jesus, turning him over to those who would later be responsible for his crucifixion.

As we try to apply this heart-wrenching story of betrayal to our lives during Holy Week, let us consider again where we see ourselves in this story of betrayal?” Are we like the disciples who all sat around, each wondering if he had betrayed the Lord? Are we more like Judas, who seems oblivious to the situation, takes the dipped bread, eats it and lets Satan take over? He never resists or rebukes Satan and becomes an agent of Satan, turning Jesus over to those who would cause his death. Do we try to resist Satan when he tempts us to say and do things that hurt Jesus and cheapen his grace poured out for us? Or do we relate to Jesus and understand what it feels like to be betrayed by people you love and trust? Perhaps we can relate to all three: disciples, Judas, and Jesus. No matter how we feel Jesus who lived on earth and now lives on the throne, can relate to our human feelings and sits next to God Almighty ready to intercede on our behalf. Let us pray.

Dear God, thank you that your Son, Jesus, intercedes on our behalf because he lived and experienced what we experience. Help us to fully embrace his role as intercessor and to come to him when we are tempted to betray him or when we feel betrayed and trust him to guide and comfort us.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  August 2021  
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