Betrayal — Our Lord knows all about it
By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:8-9 ESV)
The Judas Kiss
47 While He was still speaking, suddenly a mob was there, and one of the Twelve named Judas was leading them. He came near Jesus to kiss Him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50 Then one of them struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus responded, “No more of this!” And touching his ear, He healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, temple police, and the elders who had come for Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal? 53 Every day while I was with you in the temple complex, you never laid a hand on Me. But this is your hour—and the dominion of darkness.” (Luke 22, HCSB)
1 God, listen to my prayer and do not ignore my plea for help. 2 Pay attention to me and answer me. I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint, 3 because of the enemy’s voice, because of the pressure of the wicked. For they bring down disaster on me and harass me in anger. 4 My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me. 5 Fear and trembling grip me; horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and find rest. 7 How far away I would flee; I would stay in the wilderness. Selah 8 I would hurry to my shelter from the raging wind and the storm.” 9 Lord, confuse and confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city; 10 day and night they make the rounds on its walls. Crime and trouble are within it; 11 destruction is inside it; oppression and deceit never leave its marketplace. 12 Now it is not an enemy who insults me — otherwise I could bear it; it is not a foe who rises up against me — otherwise I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man who is my peer, my companion and good friend! 14 We used to have close fellowship; we walked with the crowd into the house of God. 15 Let death take them by surprise; let them go down to Sheol alive, because evil is in their homes and within them. 16 But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. 17 I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and He hears my voice. 18 Though many are against me, He will redeem me from my battle unharmed. 19 God, the One enthroned from long ago, will hear and will humiliate them Selah because they do not change and do not fear God. 20 My friend acts violently against those at peace with him; he violates his covenant. 21 His buttery words are smooth, but war is in his heart. His words are softer than oil, but they are drawn swords. 22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. 23 God, You will bring them down to the Pit of destruction; men of bloodshed and treachery will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.
I assume Easter Friday is called ‘Good Friday’ because what Jesus did on that day made open the way of salvation. He knew that because of what he was about to do He would see his seed — his generation — his bride. But it wasn’t a good day for Jesus at the time. It was a horrible day.
He was betrayed by a man who was supposedly his close friend. An even closer friend promised to support him but fell asleep while he was agonizing, and later disowned him. He was interrogated and pushed from pillar to post by power-mongering men who had no fear of God. He was witnessed against by liars, was spat upon, punched, beaten, had his hair pulled, was whipped, scoffed at, ridiculed and insulted for telling the truth, taunted, stripped of his clothes and dignity, offered drugged wine, and killed by slow torture involving violent stabbing of his body, dislocation of his joints, blood loss, dehydration, asphyxiation, and eventually heart failure.
May we all flee to him, cling to him and rest in him — for he saves all who come to him with humble hearts, and he knows our griefs and pains, our weaknesses, our limping, our failures and our fears.
And although the dominion of darkness held sway for those few hours, the betrayers will face Him on Judgement Day to receive their just rewards.