SCRIPTURE: John 13:27 (TM)
As soon as the bread was in his (Judas) hand, Satan entered him. "What you must do," said Jesus, "do. Do it and get it over with."
No treachery is worse than betrayal by a family member or friend. Julius Caesar knew such treachery. Among the conspirators who assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar not only trusted Brutus, he had favored him as a son. According to Roman historians, Caesar first resisted the onslaught of the assassins. But when he saw Brutus among them with his dagger drawn, Caesar ceased to struggle and, pulling the top part of his robe over his face, asked the famous question, "You too, Brutus?"
Where there is great love, there hides the opportunity for a greater betrayal. As it was true in Brutus’ life, as it was true in Judas’ life so it is true in our life. Deep love can lead to deep hurt. Just ask the young teenager deep into the throws of their first serious love relationship upon hearing that their focus of this love cares for someone else. The pain is as real as the reality of the situation.
So it is little wonder that in many ways on a daily basis in small ways we betray the very relationship that means the world to us – our relationship with Jesus Christ. It might be what we say and do … or in what we fail to say or do … nothing on the scale of Judas’ betrayal, but just as deadly … simple little things that can sneak into our lives and grow to something major.
A drop of water isn’t much, but over time those little drops of water can erode away a massive hard rock. Love has that power and so does hate and anger. Betrayal sneaks up on us when we are not paying attention and erodes away relationships.
When we have strayed away from our relationship with Jesus, there is always a way back. Forgiveness is always offered. The door is always open. The arms are always out stretched. This is why I love Teddy Bears. To me they are the universal symbol for love – unconditional love – because their arms are always open, the ears are always up to listen and the mouth is sewn shut.
A former member loved to state: “If God seems further away, who moved?” Betrayal moves us away from the relationship with God. The little child does not mean to get lost. He or she simply took a little step here and a little step there and before he or she knows what has happened their Mama or Daddy is not near them any longer and they are lost. They didn’t mean for it too happen. Curiosity got the best of them. They were just exploring their world. And yet, there they are lost, away from the source of love in their life.
But their parents are looking for them, their parents arms are ready to receive them back, kisses are ready to be bestowed on their child and so it is with us in our relationship with God. We can return and he is always ready to forgive and help us move on. Betrayal doesn’t have to be forever.
Forgive us Lord when we have chosen to follow our own path. Forgive us Lord when we have wandered from your love. Thank you Lord for welcoming us back … always … with love and forgiveness.