Acts 1:14, tells us the disciples were all in the upper room and were in one accord as they prayed about one final issue that needed dealing with…Judas and his act of betrayal. I’m sure they were all offended, angry and wounded by a man they thought was a part of their team and wondered how could this have ever happened. Verses 16-17, show us he was chosen by Jesus Himself, as one of the 12 and as a disciple shared in the 3 years of ministry they all had together. We know in the Gospels, that the 30 pieces of silver Judas received, to lead them to Jesus were thrown at the Sanhedrin’s feet when he realized he couldn’t force God’s hand, to destroy the Roman control over the Jews. The Sanhedrin seeing it as blood money, bought a desolate field of property and called it The Field of Blood, known by all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Verse 20, “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let this dwelling become desolate; Let no one live in it and Let someone else take his position.”
All of us have experienced betrayal at one time or another in our lives. Where someone or something you trusted and believed in let you down. Often our response is to get even by causing the same pain that you felt. Betrayal can only lead to desolate places of despair. The place we enter and have a tendency to dwell for a long time. It’s what can kill and destroy the living things in it’s presence, our relationships, our future and our dreams. Betrayal has the power to captivate our lives and become our permanent dweller. What it will always buy, is a desolate, empty, lifeless place, our personal Dead Sea.
When we’re dwelling in betrayal we too lose the oneness the disciples had always felt with each other and with Jesus. The reason for this is when trust has been violated by betrayal, trust becomes extremely difficult to experience again whether it is with other’s or our heavenly Father. Look at what Jesus say’s to His disciples just before the betrayal takes place, (John 17:22-23), “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one. I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one.”
Betrayal is more than being deceived and lied to by people, it is also when we’ve suffered a loss and lose something of value as we have in this Covid-19 pandemic. Betrayal can become the most devastating loss a family or person can experience. It can shock us into a desolate place, if we allow it. During this pandemic we’ve seen it produce life-altering changes in the graduating seniors missing all their pomp and circumstance, our businesses and financial futures devastated. We can’t even grieve those we’ve lost in a normal way. Not to mention, that spousal abuse and suicide are both on a steep curve upward as people deal with their sense of loss and by taking an offense.
Our world is asking, “Whom can I ever trust again? How is that which I’ve lost going to be restored again? What can I believe in again?” These questions are what each of the disciples were asking themselves as they waited for the Promise of the Father, the Pentecost that was about to happen in their lives. They decided to let go of the betrayal of Judas and believe again in the Promise of the Father as their oneness was restored, built on trust.
Question: Have you ever been betrayed, and in anger and pain tried to get even? Have you ever felt the despair of betrayal when someone or something was taken from you?
Key Thought: When betrayal comes knocking on your door, and it will, when someone or something is taken from you, let’s make sure we respond the right way. Instead of anger and the pain of retaliation, let’s embrace hope and trust as we wait for the Promise of the Father, found in Pentecost and receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Letting go of the pain of betrayal we will move on and experience the restoration and renewal that’s found in the power of His Holy Spirit.