LAKEVIEW MISSIONARY CHURCH
Weekly Update for April 13, 2022
One of my friends in daycare thought it would be fun to bury his favorite toy in the sand in the playground. Me and some other friends thought it was a great idea. We decided we would bury the toy together, then after lunch come out and dig it up. But I had other plans.
When my friend was distracted I secretly dug up the toy and took it for myself. Later after lunch when we all went out to dig it up and he couldn’t find it, my friend was devastated. He was crying because he had lost his toy and heartbroken because one of his friends had betrayed him.
Our savior Jesus Christ must have had similar feelings during his trial and crucifixion on the Cross.
Jesus’ betrayal started when he “crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees” (John 18:1, NLT). This “grove of olive trees” is the “garden of Gethsemane” (Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32). It was a garden on the slope of the Mount of Olives. Jesus spent several nights at this spot. The grove had a wall around it and was a private place, Judas was one of Jesus’ disciples and had been to this place with Jesus before, therefore he knew where to take the Roman troops to find Jesus. It was difficult to find unless you knew exactly where to look.
Judas brought the Roman group to Jesus. The text says that Judas brought a “contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards” (John 18:3, NLT). This was 300-600 people. The peaceful Jesus was confronted with a threat of violence. When Peter removed his sword and started using it to defend Jesus, Jesus told Peter to put the sword away. Jesus peacefully went with the soldiers to his trial and death.
Jesus knew what Judas was doing was wrong, but he never fought back. When the Roman soldiers arrived to arrest Jesus, he confirmed he was “Jesus the Nazarene” who they were looking for (John 18:5). Next they arrested Jesus and he didn’t resist (John 18:12-13). When the high priest was questioning Jesus an officer struck Jesus (John 18:19-22). Jesus did not respond or get physical.
Pilate flogged Jesus with a lead-tipped whip (John 19:1), the soldiers put a crown of thorns on his head, and they put a robe on him (John 19:2). Next they mocked him saying, “Hail! King of the Jews” and then slapped him in the face (John 19:3). Yet when all of this was happening, Jesus did nothing in return with the hurt he must have felt.
When the temple guards and leading priests saw Jesus they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (John 19:6). The common people yelled “Away with him. Away with him! Crucify him!” When Pilate asked the people if they wanted to crucify their king—Jesus—the leading priests shouted back, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15, NLT). There is no recorded response from Jesus in this situation. But we can only imagine the betrayal and hurt he must have felt. These were the people he came to save, but they said they have no king but Caesar.
Next Jesus was forced to carry his own cross to the place that he was going to be crucified (John 19:17). While Jesus was on the cross the soldiers took his outer garments and his tunic for themselves (John 19:23). Every ounce of Jesus’s dignity and honor was taken away. But Jesus hardly said anything and never retaliated with violence.
Jesus’ heart must have hurt because of the betrayal of his disciples. He spent three and a half years walking with twelve guys, sleeping next to them, sharing meals, smelling them, and talking with them every single day. But when adversity came and danger lurked, his disciples disappeared. All of the disciples deserted Jesus except for John.
Shortly before his death Jesus asked the disciple John to take care of his mother (John 19:26-27). In the pain of his betrayal he cared for his mother. Jesus was hurt, but he never returned that hurt to those who were hurting him. “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone” (Romans 12:17, NLT).
As Christians we don’t need to return hurt to others that have hurt us because God will take care of it for us. “Don’t insist on getting even; that is not for you to do. "‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it’” (Romans 12:19, The Message). In our times when we feel betrayed we must remember that God “heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” (Psalm 147:3, NLT).