Sunday, January 31, 2016

Betrayer Friend

Betrayer Friend
Feb 1, 2016
Matthew 26:50  "Jesus replied, 'Friend, do what you came for.'"

It is a unique position the Lord is in, having the ability to know the future, our future.  He already knows what is going to happen, all the good, the bad, how we will react, how we will sin, everything.  And yet, despite His foreknowledge of our sins He loves us anyway.  I cannot imagine loving someone whom I know will sin against me, especially knowing how he or she will specifically sin against me.  Thankfully, Jesus loves us anyway, despite knowing how we will fail Him.  If He knows the sin I will commit in the future, then He also knows how and when He will forgive me for that sin.  I imagine that He must look at me, seeing my sin and also the forgiveness of that sin, then continues to love me anyway.  It must be a fluid thought for Him, the view of sin and the forgiveness at the same time.

Jesus had a friend, an original disciple, Judas, who betrayed Him.  This is obviously not a shock, we all know what Judas did, but it is odd that Jesus predicted His betrayer and yet remained his friend.  Jesus should have removed his disciple card from him.  If I knew someone was going to betray me to the point of death, I would cease to be his friend.  Not Jesus.  He prepared forgiveness with the foreknowledge of the specific sin and loved him anyway.  There was a week or more between the time Jesus predicted His betrayer and the time He was betrayed.  This gave Jesus plenty of time to convince Judas not to go through with it.  But Jesus did not do any such thing.  Jesus continued to love Judas while Judas continued about his schemes.  In fact, Jesus remained true all the way through to the end.

The moment before Judas handed Jesus over in betrayal, Jesus said, "Friend, do what you came for."  Wow, how powerful.  Jesus called him 'friend' during the actual act of betrayal.  Jesus wasn't known for sarcasm, this was a genuine friendship for Him.  I can almost imagine the face of Jesus, His eyes catching the eyes of Judas, with a penetrating look into his soul.  But in that look Jesus bore no condemnation for Judas, no judgment, no chastisement, only love and forgiveness, calling him a friend even still.  I wonder how Judas felt.  Did he feel embarrassed and ashamed?  Did he feel indignant or did he begin to regret his decision?  It must have been awkward for sure, having all the disciples, his former friends witness the betrayal.

We know in the end Judas couldn't live with himself, with the poor decision of betraying Jesus.  Judas hanged himself.  But he didn't have to do that.  Jesus had already prepared forgiveness for Judas, but Judas didn't accept it.  How tragic an ending, knowing Jesus already forgave the sin and the sinner yet it ended in separation rather than continued friendship.  If only Judas could have asked for the forgiveness that was already there.  You and I are like Judas, the betrayer friend of Jesus, when we sin.  The forgiveness is already there, before you actually sinned and He still wants to be your friend.  If you think He can't be your friend, knowing your sin, think again.  He loved Judas even up and through the act of betrayal.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Ps 86:5, Matt 26, Matt 27:3-5

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