The day the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a day of doom. Author George McLeod quotes in his book, “On that day in Aug 1945, the physicist who was the architect of the project and who was called the “father” of atomic bombs, Dr. Openheimer, learning that the mission was accomplished, was heard to have said, “Today the world has known sin.” “
This brings back my memory to another doomsday, perhaps 2000 years ago when a rabbi called his disciples to hang out with him. A little later into the night that day, he was going to be betrayed by the kiss of one of those disciples. This betrayal was going to change the world forever. The impact of this betrayal carries the shock wave to this day.
He who knew no sin was going to know sin and take the sin of many.
The Nature of Betrayal
Betrayal is the highest form of persecution. Jesus had warned his disciples some days before, “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child.” What makes betrayal most painful is that it arises from your closest allies. Father, brother, disciple…the ones so close to you who perhaps shared your house and bread…
If you have endured betrayal, I know how your heart has seen sin in its worst form, the horror of sin is something you can’t shake away. Maybe it’s your husband who decided he needed some 30 pieces of another woman. Maybe it’s your coworker who wants to grab that position that you had faithfully worked at. Maybe it’s your mentee you faithfully invested in and who you let into your life who decided you are no better than her. The question in betrayal is “Who gave you the authority?” “What makes you different? ”
You saw sin and the world around you saw sin, and you could never be the same again.
How to Overcome Betrayal
Around every table, every circle, in every walk, you will look, you will search, not for the One who heals, but your eyes that have seen sin will look for the sin lurking so you could spare your life. Perhaps if you know the one… you could somehow stay away and avoid death.
That is not what Jesus did that day, he didn’t wash and dry 120 toes so he could make Judas obligated to Him. He was not trying to take that last chance to impress and win back Judas. In fact, he urged Judas, ““What you are going to do, do quickly.” (John 13:27)
The night he was betrayed he took the bread and gave thanks— and broke it. He did not give betrayal the power to break him. He was the bread that willingly allowed himself to be broken even before the betrayer had even stepped out. My sisters, the way around betrayal is not preventing death but willingly allowing to be broken.
Jesus said that day, “do this in remembrance of me…”
Next time we break the bread, may we remember to allow ourselves to be broken for sin, yes, someone else’s sin if the Lord so chooses. Painful as it is, as horrific that experience is, take heart, Jesus didn’t stay in the grave forever. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead will raise us also with a new life, new passion, because that is the blessing disguised as a betrayal.