Today the plot thickens. Judas’ mind turns to betrayal. He meets with the chief priests and asks what they will pay to get their hands on Jesus. I love how the Gospel According to Luke describes it:
Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
Luke 22:3-6 NLT
According to Luke, Satan entered Judas. Whether you believe in a real, embodied, horns-and-a-tail presence of evil, or a more insidious, intangible, ubiquitous presence of evil, it is easy to see that what Judas did was evil. Whether because of a devil sitting on his shoulder whispering to him, or the simple impulse of a heart that had never gotten fully on-board with Jesus’ message and mission, Judas betrayed his friend. He sold Jesus out. He treated Jesus as an enemy.
I find it incredibly tragic (especially knowing that Judas was so torn apart by what he had done, that it lead him to take his own life). Here was a man who got to travel, eat and chat with Jesus. He got to witness miracles first hand. He got to spend his days with Son of God.
And yet, somehow, he missed the entire point of what was happening right before his eyes. Or maybe, he just disagreed with all that Jesus was doing. I find it have sympathy for Judas – he is so lost and he doesn’t realize it until it is far too late.
But Judas’ part in the story reminds me that Jesus knows what it is like to be betrayed. He knows what it feels like to have a close friend, someone you trusted and loved, turn their back on you.
I suspect most of us know that pain. Oh, maybe our stories aren’t quite as dramatic as Jesus’ life. Maybe we weren’t betrayed to out arrest and execution. But any betrayal hurts. Any time someone you loved and trusted turns away from you, a wound is left behind.
The One whose wounds heal us, knows that particular cut.
We are never alone. We have a saviour who has been there, felt that. We have a saviour who is with us in the midst of our trials and pains. We have a savior who heals us – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow – through his persistent, relentless, life-giving love.