What God is Saying

Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. — Psalm 96:2-3

Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter Devotion: A Kiss of Betrayal (Day 22)

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?"
And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?
Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns."  Luke 22:47-53

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.
"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." 
"What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money."
So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.
That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."  Matthew 27:1-10

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.  Psalm 55:12-14

- Who was Judas? What do we know about him? (disciple, used to steal from the money bag, upset when Mary anointed Jesus' feet with perfume, the devil entered him and he agreed with temple leaders to betray Jesus for 30 silver coins)
- Why do you think he chose to betray Jesus?
- How did he betray him?
- How do you think Jesus felt? (read Psalm 55:12-14)
- How did Judas feel after he saw that Jesus had been arrested?
- Do you think Jesus would have forgiven Judas, the way he forgave Peter, if Judas had gone to Him and confessed his sin, asking for forgiveness?
- What can we learn from Judas?

Betrayal - such a horrible, hurtful action. We can only imagine how Jesus felt when one of the men he had spent the last three years with, who He had given all of Himself to, would turn and betray Him. Sadly, in this world, betrayal continues to happen every day. Husbands betray wives, wives betray husbands, children betray parents, friends betray friends. Jesus did not have to suffer betrayal, but He chose to for our sake. He wanted us to know that He understands the hurt of betrayal. He knows what it feels like when someone you love turns his or her back on you and wants nothing more to do with you. He understands, He cares and He is there to bring comfort, strength and grace.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You chose to suffer the things on this earth that You knew we would suffer. We love You so much. Help us to never betray You or another person. And, if we are betrayed, may we turn to You for understanding, comfort and the grace to forgive.

Song:  Why?    by Michael Card

Why did it have to be a friend
Who chose to betray the Lord
Why did he use a kiss to show them
That's not what a kiss is for
Only a friend can betray a friend
A stranger has nothing to gain
And only a friend comes close enough
To ever cause so much pain

And why did there have to be thorny
Crown pressed upon His head
It should have been the royal one
Made of jewels and gold instead
It had to be a crown of thorns
Because in this life that we live
For all who seek to love
A thorn is all the world has to give

And why did it have to be
A heavy cross He was made to bare
And why did they nail His feet and hands
His love would have held Him there
It was a cross for on a cross
A thief was supposed to pay
And Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away
Yes, Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away

Here is a video of the song: Why?

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