What comes to mind when you hear the word “betrayal?” Since it’s so close to Easter, you may have thought of Judas. I’m thinking of another betrayal, though, that happened that very same night. Jesus is in the garden, soldiers come to arrest Him, and what do the other eleven disciples do? They run. Peter tries to act brave, but he still disappears into the bushes leaving Christ alone, totally abandoned.
Betrayal comes in many shapes and forms. Dictionary.com defines “betray” as: “to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to; desert.” A synonym for “betray” is “abandonment.” In reality all the disciples were guilty of betrayal and I have been, too. I have abandoned Jesus at times and I'm sure you can relate. Picture it, a crowded room full of people who don’t believe as I do. Someone says something that I know is contrary to God’s Word and I am silent. I don’t want to “make waves.” I don’t want to be the one everyone points at and whispers about. I don’t want people to dislike me or make fun of me. Satan would like me to believe that my saying something would not make any difference. And the fact is that confrontation has never been my thing, so am I not “betraying” Jesus at this point? I’m certainly disappointing Him and, in a way, “abandoning” Him. I’ve never thought of myself as a betrayer, but I cannot deny the facts. I don’t like that thought. “Betrayal” is such a harsh word, one that I have reserved for only the worst of sinners. Now I am thinking that it’s not so uncommon after all. Consider a few more scenarios:
A high school student is ashamed to admit that she isn’t going to the dance because she has something going on at church.
A public school teacher is afraid to tell students that he believes in God and creation.
A friend convinces another that it’s okay to not tell the “whole truth.”
A spouse or a neighbor doesn’t want to broach the subject of religion.
A cousin, sibling, or grandparent attends a family Easter gathering, colors eggs, hides baskets, and eats a big meal without ever acknowledging the real reason for the holiday.
In essence, we betray Jesus every time we deny or disappoint Him.
Ouch! I think it’s time we stop pointing the finger at others and put our own name right up there with those whom we have judged to be ‘far worse.’ This Easter I’m going to remember that I put Christ on that cross and I’m going to celebrate God’s ultimate act of love and forgiveness that He made for me.
How are you going to celebrate Easter?