I’ve been thinking about that word a lot lately. Yesterday I read of Judas’ kiss and realized afresh that Jesus understood betrayal better than anyone else. A long time ago, I wrote a piece about this. The Lord brought it to mind today.
I can’t find it on my hard drive (this is hard drive number three since then), but I remember what I wrote. I remember how surprising Jesus’ heart was, He who was/is omniscient who dared to allow Judas the Betrayer into His inner circle. Imagine that! Imagine if you know-know-know that someone will betray you in the most terrible way, and you still welcome him or her into your life. Ouch. Wow.
I can’t imagine.
And Jesus knew and knows every thought of every person, no doubt full of betrayal and non-allegiance. Yet He loves us anyway.
It makes my petty desire for revenge seem small and utterly short-sighted.
But more importantly, I realize that I have a Friend who understands. When I am betrayed, He stands next to me, whispering words of encouragement. Because He has been there. He is there. He walked the earth to be betrayed by mankind. Surely He can empathize with me when I feel a tinge of betrayal. He knows how to comfort me.
I could wallow in the betrayal. I do sometimes. But I’m trying to let it go. Trying to rest that burden on the shoulders of the One who shouldered betrayal for eternity. He takes that painfully prickly burden and gives me His. Thankfully.
Oh Jesus, instead of running to lick my wounds, to nurse them until they breed vengeance and bitterness, take my heart. Run with it. Help me to forgive as You did on the cross. To relinquish my revenge. To happily give it all up and instead follow You. I want to shine You, Your forgiveness. I’m tired of the wounds. They’re seeping and infected. Take them. Dress them with Your robe of righteousness. Give me hope again. Restore my joy. Hold me. Help me to realize the pain of betrayal so I don’t become one who betrays.
All I can do is emphatically thank you for Your supreme empathy. You understand.
And today, that is enough.