April 1, 2021

Holy Week: Troubled and Betrayed

When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.’” John 13:21


As the time of Jesus’ death drew closer, the conversations shifted to things that hadn’t happened yet; such as the future betrayal of one of the twelve disciples. At this point, Jesus began to tell His disciples about future events so there would be no doubt in their minds later that He was truly the Messiah (John 13:19).


Even though Jesus knew about the betrayal, it troubled Him. Jesus poured Himself into these twelve men for three years, allowing them complete access to His life. Just think about the conversations they must have had, the places they went together, and the miracles they witnessed. His betrayer was not a stranger or a fringe follower; Judas had been hand-picked to be in Jesus’ closest circle of friends. No wonder it troubled Him!


The Oxford Dictionary defines betrayal as an act of treachery by the aiding of an enemy. Although we seldom consider our sin as betrayal, it’s just that in many ways. It’s easy to think, “Well, I’m no Judas!” but we need to recognize that our sin is no less troubling to Jesus than Judas’ sin, and that it aids the enemy, Satan.


First, all sin personally grieves the Holy Spirit. Since grief only takes place in a love relationship, inflicting grief is an act of betrayal. Secondly, choosing to sin impacts the close fellowship the Lord desires to enjoy with us. Thirdly, sin compromises our testimony, giving others cause to doubt the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, Satan is always aided by sin.


Thinking about the events of Holy Week should cause us to stop and examine our lives. This isn’t a matter of comparing ourselves with Judas but measuring ourselves by Jesus—the perfect standard of righteousness. As you look at your life through His eyes, do you recognize thoughts, attitudes, or behavior that would trouble His Spirit and give aid to the enemy? Stop right now and confess those things to the Lord. Repent, get clean, and draw close to the One who loves you most and best. When you do, your appreciation for Easter will grow immeasurably.