He showed up every day. Walked with Jesus and the other disciples. He witnessed the miracles and heard His teachings. But His heart was far from Him.
Never in the history of the church has there been a greater betrayal of trust. Even worse, he betrayed Him with a kiss.
Imagine how the disciples felt. Imagine what they were going through when not only was their Lord and Master taken from them by force, beaten and hung on a cross to die a criminal’s slow and agonizing death, but that He had been delivered to His accusers by one of their very own close companions. One of their friends whom they trusted. He was even the treasurer for their group, their church.
His disciples had given up all hope. Defeated.
But thank God the story doesn’t end there. On the third day after His death, the ground shook and the stone to the tomb that held the Lord rolled away. He walked out of that grave victorious over sin and death.
Then Jesus restored His disciples. He restored their hope. He showed them that although it seemed like the enemy had won and all was lost, He was actually in full control the whole time. It was a plan that was put in motion since before time began. A plan that was declared in the garden of Eden. A plan that set the church in motion. A movement that would invade this lost and broken world and bring hope to every soul. Nothing could stop Him, not even death… and by trusting in and abiding in Him, nothing could stop the disciples either.
Have you been hurt by someone in the church? Someone you trusted? Someone who wore the name “Christian” and then broke you and possibly even deeply bruised your faith by their betrayal.
Matthew 26 lays out for us the worst betrayal in the history of the church. But we learn in God’s victory that although men and women might fail; even though they may follow their own hearts and their own sins and in the process hurt us in the worst way, we can’t let that stop us. If we make it about them, or even about us, then the enemy has won. He has defeated us. But if we turn to Jesus and focus on Him, then we have victory. And in Him, as we abide in Him and follow Him and live by His power, we too are unstoppable!
Don’t let hurtful words and actions of mere men and women be instruments of the enemy to defeat you and pull you away from God.
Turn to Him. Let Him heal you and renew your hope and fill you with the power of His Holy Spirit just as He did with His disciples.
Step forward and run once again with our God, our Lord, our Savior, our loving Father.
Remember, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand, the battle belongs to the Lord. Without Him nothing is possible but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. He commands us to not be afraid or dismayed but to trust in Him because He is with us wherever we go.
Surrender your hurt, your doubt, your fear, your pain, your sins, your life to Him and then watch what He will do.
He has great plans. Greater than you could ever dream of.