Friday, March 21, 2008

Betrayal

When we hear about or read about a serious betrayal, maybe in the news or in a book, it's almost natural to identify with the one who is being betrayed. On Good Friday it's easy to connect betrayal only with Judas, the one who betrayed the Lord with a kiss, and to simply skim past the account of Peter's betrayal. Perhaps it is because we really do believe with Peter that we have such fortitude as to say: "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death (Luke 22:33)."

In fact, we, along with all of the disciples, are betrayers of our bridegroom. Whether it is the pressure of this world that drives us to make boldfaced denials of Him when we should most be extolling Him, or when we deny the power of the Cross by refusing to forgive others or grant them even the smallest measures of grace.

When Jesus prays "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing," (Luke 23: 34), he speaks of us all, not just Judas and those other poor sinners/ taxcollectors/ idolaters/ adulterers. In many ways, we truly do not know the dark depths of what we've done or are doing. We are guilty of sin that we don't even know of (yet). The longer we are Christians, the more acute our awareness becomes of the sin that still permeates our thoughts and motives. Since our external acts might seem better than they were when we first received Christ, we may no longer partake of acts as serious and obvious as adultery. However, the knowledge of the gravity of our sin weighs heavier, as we understand how abhorant it is to God. One of a few things tend to result:
  • we become like the Pharisees and compare our walk with others in order to make ourselves feel better (temporarily),
  • we try to ignore the fact that sin still indwells our mortal bodies and believe we no longer have to deal with sin,
  • we drown ourselves in the pit of despair, focusing our gaze entirely upon ourselves and our sinful existence
  • or we put to death the deeds of the flesh by clinging to the cross and focusing our gaze only upon Jesus Christ.

As the Bride of Christ, the Church as a whole is being sanctified and prepared for the day we will see our Glorious Bridegroom face to face. We will know in full when we see Him how incredibly faithful He is and how amazingly gracious He has been to us every single minute of the day. Today is a day to remember the Gospel message, that Jesus Christ, the Faithful Covenant Keeping Bridegroom, shed His precious blood, by dying on a brutal roman cross, willingly, so that spiritual prostitutes like me and you might be reconciled to an infinitely Holy God, being made righteous, not by anything that we've said or done, but by turning from ourselves to trusting and resting in our Savior's finished work on the cross. To Him be all Glory and Honor and Praise Forever and Ever!


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