If you dig down enough, the tender spots are still there. Betrayal runs deep.
“Every time I call, her mom says she can’t come to the phone,” I shared with my own mother, confused. I was sixteen and had been in my first wreck. I was driving with one of my best friends when I turned left in front of an on-coming car. It struck us on the passenger side where she sat and pushed us through the intersection.
When the firemen arrived on the scene, they carefully pulled open the door for my friend so the shattered window wouldn’t fall in her lap. Her head hit the window on impact. Neither of us had a scratch, but the EMT suggested we take a visit to the hospital anyway – just to be safe.
Climbing in the ambulance scared me almost as much as the crash. Questions dashed here and there, so I couldn’t get a handle on any of them. I reverted to the simple and told the paramedics again and again, “I’m diabetic. I’m insulin dependent.” And I held out my wrist with Medic Alert dangling as if to ward off the IV poles and tubing all around me.
“It’s okay.” They assured me and patted my leg. “You are fine.”
The rest of the night was a blur. My aunt and uncle coming to the hospital in place of my parents who were at the lake. The tiny room made from a curtain pulled around a bed. And the safety pins my aunt brought for the drafty hospital gown.
I don’t remember leaving the hospital, but I do remember calling the next day to check on my friend. Each time I dialed I heard the same. “She is resting.” “She can’t come to the phone.” “Can she call you back?” Only she never did.
I didn’t intend to wreck my car that night. I wasn’t trying to harm my BFF, but she turned her back to me nonetheless. I cried for weeks – maybe months. I felt betrayed.
One day we were besties, and the next day we were nothing.
Taking that into mind, I can’t even wrap my mind around what Jesus went through that night in the Garden. Jesus took three of his closest friends with him to Gethsemane. Understanding what was about to happen, Christ told them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” (Mark 14:34 NIV) He desperately needed some time alone with His Father. He asked his three buddies to keep watch while He prayed.
Instead they fell asleep. Christ was in agony, while his friends were catching some shut-eye. Ever feel like no one cares what you are going through? I’m sure Jesus felt the same. After waking the disciples, the praying/sleeping scenario happened two more times. Peter, James, and John just couldn’t keep their eyes open. I can only imagine the frustration to find them sleeping that third time. Just then, Judas approaches with an angry mob or crowd armed with swords and clubs. (v. 43)
He boldly walks right up to Jesus and betrays Him with a kiss.
As the guards began the arrest, chaos begins. Then everyone deserted him and fled. (Mark 14:50 NIV) Let that sink in a moment.
Then everyone deserted him and fled.
Betrayal hurts. Even if you are the Son of God.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 NIV
Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are immune to bad things. It doesn’t mean your friends will never betray you. Christ’s did. Why should we be any different?
Being a Christian means that disloyalty won’t keep you down. God conquered betrayal and death. Jesus was crucified as a result of Judas’ treachery. But friends, death could not keep Him in the grave. Don’t let a betrayal be the death of you.
Stand tall. It may be Friday, but Sunday’s coming.