Wednesday, April 7, 2010


"One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though...betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope." ~Steven Deitz

This post has been brewing in the Colombian roast coffeepot for awhile, and it's {hopefully} a final step in my healing from a certain situation. And yes it really IS necessary for me to be that vague. However, I hope there's still something that perhaps resonates with you or maybe some input you would like to add.

Disclaimer: I don't intend to equate myself with Jesus in any shape or form. I'm simply grateful that he can identify completely with my very human emotions regarding being betrayed.

This Easter season I've focused less on the aspects of the holiday that typically have my attention {Jesus' death and resurrection} and more on a point of arguably less importance: the betrayal of Jesus and how this relates to my own experience of being betrayed.

Some general points I've observed regarding betrayal:

~Betrayal always involves the breaking of trust. Deception. There's great pain in realizing that the betrayer is not who you thought they were, and the process of grieving an end to the person you thought existed can be long and arduous.

~If one is betrayed, that means that there was once something positive {or seemingly positive} established and then broken. The betrayer and the betrayee had some sort of connection, understanding, or covenant. In order to destroy something through betrayal, that something had to exist, or at least in appearances.

~Exploring motives: betrayal is a result of greed, of self-interest.
"When tempted, no one can say, 'God is tempting me.' For God can not be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death." ~James 1:13-15

~Picking up from the last part of the verse from above, betrayal destroys the betrayer and others. It breaks the shalom that God intends for His creation, marring God~people relationships and people~people relationships.

~Betrayal takes place first in the heart, and then in fact. The heart corruption is first and then there's an actual acting out of the betrayal that has already taken place within.

All of these points parallel my own experience as well as what I understand to be the experience of Jesus when He was betrayed. Judas was one of The Twelve; he was "part of the group." He was chosen by Jesus to follow Him. While additional motives are possible, we know that this Keeper of the Money Bag had sticky fingers and was lured by the silver offered by the chief priests. Clearly, Judas was looking out for himself and didn't care that his actions would have grievous effects on others. This betrayal destroyed Judas {he committed suicide} and many others, too. Obviously, this betrayal cost Jesus his life; many were negatively affected by his death {though we know this isn't the end of the story}. Lastly, Judas had already betrayed Jesus in his heart before his actions followed. The real damage had already been done before he betrayed Jesus to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The only comfort I can find after being betrayed and deceived is that Jesus knows exactly how I feel. He experienced a betrayal that cost him his life. He knows that floor-dropping-out-from-under-me feeling, that cold-hand-clenching-my-heart sensation. Complete with icy tentacles enveloping my chest.

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.

Each of us has seeds of betrayal. The disciples didn't know that the betrayer would be Judas. The fact that Judas had a weakness for money and theft wasn't any indication that he would be the betrayer because all people are sinful. I am just as capable of betrayal and deception as those who have wronged me. I am just as capable of betrayal and deception as Judas, history's most notorious backstabber.

Is it I, Lord? Is it I?

1 comment:

  1. I clicked on this at random from the bottom of your front page post. This is really good, Leah. Betrayal and deceit hurt like few other things ever will.


Thank you for taking the time to muse aloud with me,
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Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Leah