“That evening as He sat eating with the Twelve, He said, “One of you will betray Me. Sorrow chilled their hearts, and each one asked, “Am I the one?” (Mt 26:20-22)
Just before the Last Supper, at the table, Jesus reveals the pain of betrayal. This morning, in the church, we took the Holy Communion and asked the Lord the very same question. ‘Am I the one, Lord?’ The reason for the question is this: except the Holy Spirit reveals to you the sin of betrayal, you will never know it at the surface. The Holy Spirit leads us into the deep things of God. We then put on our ‘diving gear’, also called ‘the whole armor of God’ and we jumped into the river of life. Most times the anointing comes slowly as the service progresses. But this morning it came as a hurricane. It stunned the whole congregation. No one was able to even move. We all felt the pain of our Lord like Calvary happened today, here in Warri, Nigeria. We prayed and searched our hearts for hidden seeds of crime against love.
To betray it simply means to become an enemy to your friend. It means to deliver a friend to his enemy; to fail or abandon a friend in time of need; to expose a friend to danger by disclosing a secret against his will; to seduce and then to forsake. Betrayal is a sin against love, covenant friendship and trust. The opposite of betrayal means to remain faithful and honest to your friends, until the end. It means to be romantically holy and to love forever!
Betrayal is one of the most terrifying pains man will ever know. I read that about 25% of men and women commit adultery at least once in their life time. Adultery is a form of betrayal. It means that a quarter of humanity knows this pain. Millions have wept lonely tears on a pillow; if of silk or dirty plastic, it does not matter. Pain is pain.
A wise man said long ago: ‘Betrayal is the harshest pain…the willful slaughter of hope… Before a man betrays his country or his friend, he must betray his conscience. For as long as there is love, and trust, the beast of betrayal shall be hungry for more victims’
Why do people betray one another? The main reason is anger. Each relationship must grow thru little pains, one at a time. Each time truth is revealed, there is pain. No one is perfect but if you want to have friends, if you desire marriage, pain must follow. As believers, we are to carry our pains to the Cross. In the absence of that, the pain will become bitterness and eventually it ends in betrayal. Long before Judas betrayed his Master, the seeds of his anger and frustration with the Son of God started growing in his heart. He was an ambitious man. He slowly discovered that he could not manipulate Jesus. He could not become the leader of the band of twelve. After three years of following Jesus, he saw no visible gain to boast about or carry home. He then decided to steal money; at least he will recover his ‘school fees’. Eventually, bitterness griped his heart, darkness prevailed and he chose to reject the only thing of value that he could have had: his relationship with his best Friend, Mentor and God.
Betrayal is a silent poison long before it becomes visible and has power to hurt another.
But the worst form of betrayal is drawing back from the passion of true love. The worst betrayal is to forsake your first love, Jesus Christ, your Lord. You used to laugh together, share special moments together, you used to pray for and encourage one another…but know the heart is closing down…just greetings from afar…your friend speaks but you do not hear, the iceberg of betrayal has settled in between…You may still go to church, you may sing the songs, or even preach at the pulpit, but the heart is slowly drawing back from the hot passion of loudly calling Jesus as your Lover and Lord and from dancing unashamedly in His presence… The betrayal of the heart of worship, the worst pain even God feels, the grieving of the Holy Spirit…and all the while men still applaud for you and call you ‘great’…
“Am I the one, Lord?’
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I love God with all my heart!
I love others with the love of God!
I can never be ashamed of Jesus!
It is better for me to die and go to heaven, than to betray my Lord!
In Jesus name