Monday, February 11

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

"For it is not an enemy who reproaches and taunts me--then I might bear it; nor is it one who has hated me who insolently vaunts himself against me--then I might hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend. We had sweet fellowship together and used to walk to the house of God in company." Psalm 55:12-14 AMP

"On the night He was betrayed……"

A phrase that continues to echo in my heart as the storm rages full fury against my tattered and ripped meager fortress, heard above the roar of the mighty wind that beats against all that I hold dear. Christ was betrayed by a friend, a disciple whom He loved and respected. He knew Judas would betray him, yet He treated him as if the knowledge was hidden from His eyes. Until it came time for the final sacrifice to be advanced to the Cross, a sight that Judas never saw.

On the night He was betrayed……

Christ didn't hide or cower behind closed doors frightened and afraid. No, He gave us the communion to remind us of what would be done to redeem us. He spent the night in the garden, anguished and sorrowed to the point where blood dripped from his sweating brow and yet, when the time came for Judas to commit the sin against God's Son, he simply asked, "What is this, Judas? That you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" No condemnation, no angry outburst or calling of his disciples to His side. He even admonished Peter for the slicing off of the guard's ear, and healed an unbeliever who had came to take Him to His purpose. All of His disciples, even the one who openly declared death the only thing to hold him from His side, ran into the night and left Christ alone to be beaten, accused, and shamed.

On the night he was betrayed……..

He invoked such humility and such grace that anyone who knew Him and realized who He was surely stood numbed and heartbroken as they watched the events unfold… especially John, the Beloved, who would ultimately face the enduring trials of being the last eyewitness voice to what happened during the three years Christ walked in ministry upon the land. How shocked, stunned, and utterly depressed must all of those who had followed this giant amongst the sheep, to see Him battered, bruised, and betrayed to the most heinous death the Romans knew, crucifixion.

And we can experience that level of betrayal in the body of Christ's church as we watch those who profess to be of the family espouse views and opinions that Christ doesn't support upon the Word. There is nothing that causes greater distress than to be betrayed by a loved one or someone within the close circle of your friends.

But as Matthew Henry said, "The true Christian must expect trials from professed friends [or loved ones], from those with whom he has been united; this will be very painful; but by looking unto Jesus we shall be enabled to bear it. Christ was betrayed by a companion, a disciple, an apostle, who resembled Ahithophel in his crimes and doom. Both were speedily overtaken by Divine vengeance."

As this verse expresses a prophecy about Christ's betrayal, it also contains our warning of betrayals of our own. But we cannot shut off from the light and harshness of the world and its demons, rather face it with the grace that Christ had as He walked down the streets of Jerusalem carrying a wooden cross that He was to be nailed too.

We can look in the face of our betrayers and utter the words that Christ spoke as He hung in utter pain upon a cross not of His making,
"Forgive them for they know not what they do."

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