Betraying Christ, Part TWO
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Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

 December 16, 2006            Betraying Christ 2                 Kathleen Maples

The disciples were all gathered together in the upper room with the Lord, and they were finishing up the Passover meal they had so intimately shared. The Lord had been dealing with them about what was to come, both that which was going to be painful, His betrayal, and that which would be glorious, His resurrection and ultimate return for His Bride. But Satan is there, listening, and has his own plan. As soon as he is able he enters Judas, and proceeds to set a very destructive plan into motion, with the confederate help of one of Jesus' own.

Joh 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

Joh 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Joh 13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

The second word, gave, in the Greek here means Jesus gave the sop to Judas in verse 26, He turned him over to that which in his heart he'd already embraced. The worst thing the Lord could do to us is turn us over to our sins. It's the same word Paul used in Romans to warn people that those who did not like to retain the knowledge of God would be given over to a reprobate mind. Satan could not enter Judas until Jesus turned him over. How chilling that truth is...oh let us take heed and ask the Lord to help us be doers of what He by His manifold grace would teach us. After Judas left, Jesus tells them quite a few wonderful things to encourage and strengthen them, and I will save that for another day, because what He told them was lengthy, important, and deserves in depth examination and consideration. So, for now, we will save that for later, because I feel a need to go on to the Mount of Olives.

Mat 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Mat 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Mat 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

Mat 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Jesus was saying you are going to fall in to a trap laid by your enemy. You are going to stumble over the sight of your eyes and the hearing of your ears very shortly. But, Peter truly loved the Lord. Can you imagine the pain Jesus' words caused in this man's heart? Instant denial sprang to his lips. I can almost see him looking at Jesus in disbelief with anguished eyes, whispering, "No! I would die for you. How could I deny you? I love you. I've left everything I ever knew to follow you. I could never deny you." He overestimated his own strength and underestimated the situation he would find himself in. The devil wanted to cause them to stumble and fall into sin, fear and unbelief. According to Thayer's Greek Definitions, in the original Greek, the word 'offended' means to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert the one whom he ought to trust and obey.' When he struck out at the Lord, in fear, the sheep scattered. They reacted as sheep that smelled a fire and fled in panic and confusion.

Mar 14:31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

Mat 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

Mat 26:37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

There was a grief and distress in the heart of the Lord at this time. He was heavy with sadness and grieved. When you look at the words 'sore amazed' in Mar_14:33 and you look up what that means in the original language, it reveals He was battling depression and feeling a sense of overwhelming awe at the task before Him. He truly tasted everything that could afflict us. But, oh, saints, how can we truly understand what He suffered unless we dig in and pray for revelation and understanding of what the Scripture is telling us here? I have never in the 6 years I've been saved and getting to know the Lord felt comfortable reading these Scriptures. I always hated the thought of His suffering, and didn't take time to really examine these Scriptures. But now, as I do this, I must do it with a sense of awe, a reverence in my heart for the gravity of what I am seeing unfold before my eyes in this precious Word-and understanding what it means to me and how it applies to me in more ways than one. There is a reason this was written. Remember, there is something on display that we need to learn.

Joh 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

Cedron means black, sad. The black torrent. It was a stream in a ravine below the east wall of Jerusalem, near Gethsemane. They enter the garden of Gethsemane which was at the foot of the mount of Olives. Gethsemane means an oil press. The fruit of the olive tree, the olive, was picked, and squeezed and beaten to obtain the olive oil from the fruit, rather than eat the fruit, although it is edible and often used for food, too. The oil was more highly valued. Ironic, considering what is about to happen here, don't you think? That is exactly what would soon happen to the Son of God, and when He died, water and blood would come forth. After He rose again and went back to Heaven, the Holy Spirit would come, like the oil...hallelujah! So remember that when you face your trial and you feel like the pressure is mounting and you're getting squeezed. Remember the olive, remember Gethsemane.

Luk 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

Mat 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Our Lord was in a deep anguish, there was a fierce battle going on in His flesh. He knew that Judas had gone to betray Him. I believe that even though He was in the flesh, the Holy Ghost was communing with HIM closely. He was never caught off guard or unaware of what was going on. I believe before He ever left Heaven to inhabit a virgin's womb, He knew exactly how everything would happen. He knew they would come after Him in the garden. We must remember there was a love we can't fathom in His precious heart for His creation-they were His offspring. To gain a glimpse of understanding, imagine if you had a dozen children, you had raised them, nurtured and cared for them, loved them, and then they turn on you, led you off to jail and beat you and bruised you and one of your own children conspired to betray you into the hands of your enemies, and they all tortured and then killed you. Inconceivable, is it not? The disciples were His own, but the folks who accused and beat and judged and tortured Him were His offspring, too, they were His creation. They all had HIS breath of life in their nostrils. Every one of these souls was lovingly created by the Master. Many were bound by sin and deceived by the devil and religion.

Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Remember, in Genesis, God said "let US make man" it was a joint effort. Was it only the thought of death and dying that was causing the anguish and grief in His beloved heart? His flesh struggled against that, but I believe the root cause of His grief, of His deep, gut wrenching anguish was the knowledge that His offspring, His very own creation, would be the tool of His death. That had to break His heart to endure being betrayed and abused by those He loved and had come to save. I can't begin to imagine the torment of knowing the worst kind of betrayal was coming, that your own would turn on you and destroy your life. Viciously. Because they were deceived. And in order to save them, He had to submit to something that was a total violation of everything He was. He was holy, and pure. Soon, wicked, unclean hands would grasp Him and injure Him. He was clean and righteous but would have to submit to those who were unclean and unrighteous and they would horribly abuse Him, both physically and mentally and verbally. Yet, He did not try to defend Himself, nor did He did not condemn them. I want that kind of love-the kind that will not be provoked to return evil for evil, that under the most intense pressure will not rise to the bait and gripe and complain. I want that....for only then can we truly glorify Him in the fires as Isaiah said we are to do. (Isa_24:15) When the pressure is mounting and what our eyes see is the opposite of what He says in His Word, we must stand and stake everything on what He said, not what we see or feel or think.

Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Jesus is suffering greatly, knowing what was coming, and His heart was breaking over the condition of His own creation, I believe. They were enslaved, blinded by a harsh and unforgiving taskmaster of the devil and sin. They were deceived, and rebellious and because of this they had brought much suffering down on their own heads. But remember the Scripture tells us this:

Isa 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bore them, and carried them all the days of old.

Isa 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

He never wanted it to be that way. He went over and above the call of duty to try to help them. Remember He asked Jeremiah "What more could I have done for them?" (Isa_5:4) He gave them the protection, love, the nourishment, the blessings, and still, they rebelled. He said if they'd return to Him they'd find rest and in quiet confidence, they'd be saved, and find peace for their souls but they wouldn't. (Isa_30:15).

Mat 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Out of curiosity, I paused to look up the word "disciple" and it means learner, or pupil. So, disciple, let us continue in His Word and learn. Let us watch in awe as the Holy Creator submits to the corrupted creation...and be very humbled. I would think the disciples were very confused, being unable to fully understand the ramifications of what is taking place. Just a few minutes ago, Peter was swearing to go all the way with the Lord, swearing that he'd never deny the Lord. But as soon as His back is turned while He's praying, they are overcome with sleepiness. It's been a long day, full of ups and downs, and busyness. It's been a curious mixture of love, devotion, intrigue, betrayal, and communion. There was busyness getting everything prepared for the Passover meal. They know something bad is about to happen. They know Jesus keeps telling them He has to die. One of them will betray Him. They are confused, uncertain, and probably getting depressed. Things are happening so fast now, and it seems to all be spinning out of control to their carnal minds. What do people do in a pressure situation when they are not strong enough to face it? When they are tired of trying to figure it out on their own, and know they can't change things? When their hearts are heavy and their minds confused, they often seek refuge in sleep. Elijah did it, after a great victory, and then he's marked for death and flees in despair, thinking he alone is left serving the Lord. Now, the disciples, left to themselves, give in to the weariness, and sleep. It's a temptation to just escape from the battle for just a little respite, just a little time off-in sleep. But the Lord is giving a warning here I want to look at carefully. He wants them to be awake, vigilant, on guard. But when you are overwhelmed and weary with events and with pressures of the battle, and your flesh is demanding sleep, and you are so tired of trying to deal with it that the thought of dreamless, thoughtless, feelingless sleep sounds heavenly how do you resist that? How do you go on? Well, the Lord said "watch and pray". He wants them to be praying, in communication with the Father. If they would pray, and ask for help, I believe the Lord would have strengthened them, because He strengthened His Son. Jesus did not want them to go through the trial and adversity they were facing unprepared. The word "enter" in the Greek here means to come in to, or go through something. He wanted them to fortify themselves through prayer. They had seen Him do it many times. They had even asked Him to teach them how to pray. This is a prime example of the warfare that goes on in a believer between the flesh and the Spirit. In times of trial the Spirit will urge us to pray and the flesh will want sleep as a form of escape or temporary relief from the pressure. I know I am guilty of falling into that trap.

Luk 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

Luk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

He knows what it's like to make a petition to God that God doesn't grant. What great, magnificent mercy is on display here just to let us eavesdrop on this most intimate, and personal, and painful time in the life of our Lord. There is much to be learned here, but oh we need Divine Help to see it and understand. There was a struggle going on in Him. He was in such anguish in His soul. Some think it was the looming death on the cross that caused it. Some think it was because He knew the torture He would soon endure. But this was God in the flesh. The Only Begotten Son of Almighty God. Pure, Holy, All Powerful. All Knowing. All Seeing. He was inhabiting flesh, but it did not control Him. I believe those things caused the struggle in His flesh, to a degree. But I believe the root cause of His anguish was the heartache of being rejected and hated by His own creation. He loved humanity so deeply He was willing to lay His life down for us. There is no other idol out there, no other religious leader out there, past, present or future, who would ever sacrifice so much for humanity. He is a class all by Himself. There are no contenders. No one even comes close. Oh thank you Lord for your goodness and your mercy and your incomparable love for fallen humanity! He was struggling so hard in prayer an angel came to strengthen Him. He knew He had to lay His life down. He knew He would suffer greatly. Those closest to Him could not understand, and because of the grief and sadness His Word caused in their hearts, they were not laboring in prayer with Him, they were sleeping. Surely he battled feelings of loneliness, too. There was no one on earth who understood or was His equal. Only His Father in Heaven could understand. He never turned to flesh for comfort. He never turned to flesh for advice. He never turned to flesh for help of any kind. He only turned to the Father. What an example for us. What a compassionate Father to send heavenly reinforcement to strengthen Him.

Luk 22:45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,

Mat 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Mat 26:46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Mat 26:47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Mat 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

Mat 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

Mat 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

We are told in Scripture to greet one another in the House of God with faith with a holy kiss. It was a mark of honor to kiss the Lord-had it been done out of sincerity. That is why you see people bow on their knee and kiss the hand of the pope. It's a mark of honor to a Supreme Being. Only, we know the pope is not the Supreme Being, the Lord IS. The heathen kissed their idols, and bowed before them. In the case of far off objects such as the sun and the moon, they would kiss their hand. When I found that out, I stopped kissing my hand and blowing it at my baby girl. I didn't realize something so seemingly innocent was steeped in the tradition of idolatry. (Source: Concise Bible Dictionary) Oh, Church, with so much information available, we will be held accountable. To whom much is given, much will be required..and if we choose not to make time to dig into the Word and ask for understanding, we will still be held accountable because it's available and He gave us the time we have and we can't say we didn't have time. How are we using the time He gave us? See how the devil seeks to profane every single thing that is right and holy? And people don't know if they aren't careful to study and pray for understanding. We must study to see if our lives are approved by Scripture. I wonder if there was even a twinge of discomfort or conviction or shame in the heart of Judas when Jesus called him friend?

Joh 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

Joh 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

Joh 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

According to the Concise Bible Dictionary, a legion in the Roman Army was about 3000 to 5000 men. But it can also mean an innumerable amount. Jesus had been praying earnestly, fervently. He was full of the power of God. He was prepared to submit to their authority to seize Him. Yet when He spoke, they collapsed back upon the ground like weak children. It would have been funny if the situation were not so serious. I wonder what those soldiers, and what Judas thought when Jesus said "I am He" and they just fell back. They must have been standing very closely together because when they fell back they all fell to the ground, and I imagine, tangled up with one another. This indicates to me a huge lack of confidence and bravado on the part of the soldiers. I smell fear. They had surely seen and heard much about this unusual man from Galilee. Many saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead. Many saw Him heal a leper. They had seen things. Heard things. These soldiers had to be packed together very closely for them all to trip up and fall when those in front backed away at His Word. They were sent to arrest Him, but they are nervous, frightened and unsure how to proceed. Imagine five year old children sent to arrest somebody like Hulk Hogan. It is really ludicrous. But, He looks down at them on the ground, and speaks again, "Whom seek ye?" and they answer "Jesus of Nazereth". God's Son, looks down on those who would be His captors, and meekly surrenders to their authority. The very One who holds their breath in His hand, who IS their Life Source, submits to their chains.

Joh 18:8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

Joh 18:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

He didn't want the disciples hurt, he was seeking to protect them. It wasn't their time yet. But Peter didn't like what was happening, and acted rashly, thinking, the Lord told me to get my sword, and I'm going to use it! If they think they are going to hurt HIM, I'll show them! When people come against the name of the Lord, those of us who love Him if we are not very careful, will try to protect Him, even though He doesn't need our help. We want to hurt those who dare speak against Him, but that is not the way of the Master.

Joh 18:10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

Joh 18:11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Mat 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Mat 26:54 But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

Can you imagine the shock of the soldiers when the Lord reached out gently and healed the ear of Malchus? The disciples see the soldiers with their swords and spears and Judas standing with them. Did Jesus' words echo in their minds about one of them betraying Him? They see Jesus seized by these Gentiles right in front of their horrified eyes, and fear floods their souls. I wonder what the soldiers thought when they saw the Man they come to arrest reattach and heal the servants' ear. It struck me as ironic that a group of men, who were slaves themselves, to sin, and bound by the Roman Empire, come to arrest One who was free, even in their bonds. One of His own had betrayed Him into their hands. He was facing the most severe trial one could imagine. And all of His disciples in their fear and panic, as the Scripture foretold, left Him. They didn't leave Him in their hearts, but they fled in confusion, fear and panic. Here was everything they had staked their lives on, everything they had learned to trust in and depend on, bound, and headed for certain death. They were afraid. They were not prepared to handle it.

Mar 14:50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

Jesus knew they would flee. But He knew they would return. He knew they would not be lost because He had the power to keep them, to bring them back. As we have looked into the heart and life of Jesus during this critical time, I pray the Lord help us all see how great His love for us is. I pray we trust that love and bring our burdens, and weights, and fears, and hurts and cast them at His feet, and let Him deliver us from ourselves. For someone who could instantly reattach a severed ear, with out surgical instruments, or anesthesia, or thread, is there any loss we have suffered, is there anything in our lives too hard for the Lord for fix? He is a Restorer. He loves us. We've been in the garden with Him. We have watched them come for Him. We've seen how He ministers to the hurts and needs of others, even as He is being arrested. He is a Mighty God, a Glorious Savior who deserves our undying loyalty. He is so worthy of praise. There is nothing too hard for Him to fix in your life. Nothing. I've often wondered why Judas betrayed Him. How could he travel with Christ for over 3 years and not be changed? How could he not love the Lord, and recognize Him for who He is? There was a deep need in the heart of Judas, just like there is in all our hearts. Judas had a covetous heart. He did not have compassion for the poor. He did not have a servant's heart. He was more interested in power, and authority, without humility and servitude. I imagine as the devil always does, that he whispered lies to the minds of the disciples, but eleven of them, for the most part, rejected this and followed the Lord. Judas had different priorities. He entertained the lies of the enemy. He let himself be convinced of a lie about the Lord. The devil put the Lord on trial in the mind of Judas, and Judas found Him guilty. But later, when the devil retreated, and Judas saw clearly that he had betrayed an innocent man who was not what he had thought, he was devastated, and committed suicide. We need to be careful what voice we listen to. We need to carefully examine our own ideas and perceptions of who the Lord is and see if they line up with what the Scripture says. We need to present Him with our hearts and lives and bodies and let Him examine us and change us. This is about serving others, for HIS sake, ministering to others, for His sake. It's about letting HIM live in us, through us, and guide us, so others around us can see and find their way to Him.

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And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32