Our Portion in Betrayal
“…This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you. –But behold! The hand of him that betrays me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goes as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!” (Lk.22:20-22)
The recent betrayal in our national election is the most painful political experience I have known personally. It is also the closest reflection of “a national disappointment” that I have felt that reflects the devastating disappointment of the disciples upon the crucifixion of Christ and the days before His resurrection. The following reflection is an effort on my part to sort through it all properly.
Our Portion in Betrayal
“Behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (Mark 14:41)
Betrayal is, perhaps, one of the most excruciating and devastating pains one can experience. The pain is so deep because betrayal upends the truth of our moral compass.
“Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” (Mal 3:13-15)
How we overcome betrayal is significant because it establishes a foundation for the direction of our remaining life. And God forbid that our response might spring from bitterness, anger, malice and wrath! For if these things allow our pain to be the prominent reference point of our life, we will become hardened by them and totally be robbed of the joy that is ours in Christ.
But thanks be to God, there is a glorious share for us in the sufferings of Christ! However, we have to embrace betrayal as our privileged heritage: “If we are children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)
So in every incident of betrayal, we must find our moorings by focusing on our inheritance with Christ as we also suffer with Him. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Hebrews 12:2-4)
Jesus gave us a paradigm for responding to betrayal. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:20-22)
The pattern of spiritual attack on a faithful believer reminds me of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness after he had fasted for forty days. The bad news is that overt attacks from Satan are the order of the day for anyone who would live godly in Christ Jesus. The devil always attacks so as to distort our biblical outlook and it is on us to answer back, “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” And don’t forget dear brother and sister… these kinds of trials and testings, including betrayals, are actually evidence of vitality. Extraordinary trials prove extraordinary Christian character – where the extraordinary becomes common to the vital saint. That’s because the degree of “what you are able” is increased – but it still is common to such spiritual saints. Think Job. God knew his character and allowed Satan to attack him beyond what any “normal” man could take. But he was given a way of escape so he could endure. Be careful to always glorify God with the honor He’s bestowing on you. He knows your mettle! It doesn’t feel like honor to be sure, but God calls the things that are not, as though they were. That’s the dimension He is always working in.
This year’s inauguration left me with the feeling that “I have no portion” in this administration. “So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither [have we] inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents” (See 1 Kings 12:16)
But there is a better perspective. The “January 20 Evening” reading from the devotional Our Daily Light challenged me to stop looking at “our portion” and to thrive on the eternal reality that we are the Lord’s potion! I leave you with its profound truths.
Our Daily Light: January 20, Evening
The Lord's portion is his people.
Ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. I am his. The Son of God... loved me, and gave himself for me.
Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. The LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.
Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. A spiritual house, an holy priesthood.
They shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. All mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. The glory of his inheritance in the saints.
From Deuteronomy 32:9; 1 Corinthians 3:23; Song of Solomon 7:10; Song of Solomon 2:16; Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Deuteronomy 4:20; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 2:5; Malachi 3:17; John 17:10; Ephesians 1:18