Summary: The story of Jesus and His betrayal by Judas challenges us to consider the real truth about betrayal, and our personal struggle with it.
"The Truth About Betrayal"
When you hear the word "betrayal", what do you think of? Do you think of --- Joseph, Jacob, David, Julius Caesar, Benedict Arnold, or perhaps someone close to you? To "betray" means "to prove faithless or treacherous to, as to a trust or one who trusts; to fail or desert in a moment of need." Using the story of Jesus, let us look at THE TRUTH ABOUT BETRAYAL:
I. BETRAYAL USUALLY COMES AT DECISIVE MOMENTS (26:17-19).
A. The disciples were concerned about preparing for Passover, the Holy Festival.
B. Jesus declared that His "time" (a word used for the end of time elsewhere), His decisive moment had come.
C. Jesus taught us to treat every moment in life as being precious, decisive. In this most decisive time for Him, Jesus was betrayed. Betrayal, one person has said, "crouches at the door" of every moment of your life.
II. BETRAYAL OF JESUS IS IN YOUR HEART AND MINE (26:20-25).
A. This scene speaks of betrayal in both the specific and general sense. Judas would literally hand Jesus over in betrayal, but its meaning goes deeper.
B. Curiously, when Jesus spoke of one betrayer during their meal together, all of the disciples wondered, "Is it I?"
C. Wouldn’t they know? You see, they did know in their hearts that they were guilty before Him.
D. We have all betrayed Jesus. Each one has placed his/her hand in that dish with Jesus. Every sin has such dire consequences that it means it would be better had we never been born. Judas here becomes the example of what we look like apart from faith in Jesus Christ. To not live in faith is to be Judas--the betrayer.
III. BETRAYAL THROUGH SIN CAN BE WASHED AWAY BY THE ONE BETRAYED (26:26-29).
A. The Lord’s Supper preaches to us that Jesus came to forgive and cleanse us from our treachery and betrayal. We have all treated Jesus just as Judas did. But He has become the great sacrifice for our sin and stands ready to forgive us and make us new again.
B. Whatever our rebellion, Jesus desires to forgive and renew.
IV. BETRAYAL MUST BE REPLACED BY FAITHFULNESS IN OUR LIVES (26:30-35).
A. This scene is a sobering reminder for us when we feel superior to Judas.
B. The other 11 disciples swore they would die with Jesus rather than deny Him.
C. Like them, we often declare with words our love and devotion to Jesus and then betray Him in a multitude of ways, such as:
1. Being hateful/spiteful in attitude toward others 2. Holding grudges 3. Loving Jesus at church but treating our own family members hatefully 4. Being unwilling to give or serve 5. Refusing to study God’s Word 6. A Sunday School teacher not prepared; not on time 7. Preachers not prepared to preach
D. If we are honest with ourselves, there are many people ---from our own family members to Jesus Himself---whom if we looked them in the eye, we would have to confess "It is I" who has betrayed you.
Let Jesus cleanse you of your betrayal/sin; forgive you; and empower you to be faithful to Him.