Have you ever been betrayed? Maybe you shared something in confidence with a friend and they broke your trust. Perhaps someone who you trusted only just pretended to be a supporter, and it turned out that they were just manipulating you for personal gain. We all have been caught in these situations. It hurts to be betrayed.
During Lent we focus on how Jesus was betrayed. We think of how Judas, a dear trusted friend of Jesus, betrayed Him to those who would put Jesus to death. How could someone so close to Jesus, turn on Him in such a hurtful way? How did Jesus feel about Judas' betrayal? We understand the pain that betrayal causes, because we have all been subjected to it at some point.
The sad news is that Judas was not alone in his betraying Jesus. You and I have all broken Jesus’ trust. Like Judas (and Peter) we have all denied Jesus! We have placed our own desires ahead of Jesus. We have ignored God’s Commandments and sought to do things our own way. We have treated others thoughtlessly and elevated ourselves over them, directly contradicting God’s word of encouragement to “count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). And when we do this, The Good News of Jesus is muted. Others do not see or hear the amazing love of Christ, because we have pushed Jesus into the background or denied His importance in our own lives. This is not easy to hear, but it’s best to hear the truth. We have betrayed Jesus!
Like Judas, Peter also betrayed Jesus when he denied that he even knew Jesus. The Good News is that after His resurrection, Jesus forgave Peter and restored him as a follower. From then on, Peter called all people to “repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19).
God says, “Return to Me!” God's Word reminds us that even when we break God’s trust, God is still there to provide His blessings! Jesus offers forgiveness. He offers peace. Jesus offers the strength to turn back and receive His blessings. When we repent of our sins and return to God, we receive all that He has promised, namely Jesus’ love and forgiveness. May you be encouraged to receive Jesus’ mercy and return to God!
Trusting in Jesus’ mercy!