Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Trust in the Face of Deception

"One of you will betray Me." 

Jesus knew in advance that one close to him would hand him over. With Judas, the betrayal was no less ugly because it was foreknown to Jesus, who was not deceived. He knew what was Judas's intent, and scholars agree that Judas must have thought himself clever and even may have thought himself to be "helping" Jesus unveil a great earthly kingdom. 
     Judas betrayed Jesus with a sign, a kiss of greeting in the garden of Gethsemane. That kiss identified Jesus beyond mistake to the guards assigned to arrest Jesus of Nazareth, the troublemaker of Israel's religious status quo. Judas soon realized that he had not understood what he was doing in betraying Jesus, and the realization of what he had done horrified him. In handing Jesus over in betrayal, Judas put the Lord into death-dealing hands. Judas soon destroyed his own life in a suicidal despair.  
     Betrayal and Deceit are twins in the arsenals of ambition or fear. Yet, they are not too hard for God to deal with. They are exactly the kinds of thing in human beings that Jesus came to root out, by His own sacrifice, for those willing for God to transform them.   
     Yes, thanks be to God, Jesus never denies His own. He keeps His words of promise and mercy. His love would never hand us over to what is bad for us, although evil tries to do this all the time. When evil forces its way into our lives due to human frailties, Christ stands with us as we put our trust in Him. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, He is there with us. 
     "O, grave, where is thy victory? Death, where is thy sting?" Jesus, the One betrayed, rose again, victorious and clothed in an imperishable body raised from death by God's power. 
     When deceit emerges into the light, its dangers to others suddenly becomes more clear. Yet, there is another assurance beyond circumstances: "I have overcome the world," says the Risen Christ. "Do not be afraid." 
     When we see the weakness of those who do not honor their words or promises, we are enabled with God's help to "bear with" the results that eventually weigh heavily on our lives. We learn more clearly whom to trust. We remember that no human is entirely trustworthy. At any point of deception, we can lean on God and trust Him to help us.  
     God always keeps His word during our troubles. God keep His promises. Here is one of my favorites among the many promises of God: It has and always will prove to be true:    
     "Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be confused, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up with my righteous right arm" (Isaiah 41:10).   

O Death, where is your victory? 
"...But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15: 54-57). 

Word Study Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=betray
late 13c., bitrayen "mislead, deceive, betray," from be- + obsolete Middle English tray, from Old French traine "betrayal, deception, deceit," from trair (Modern French trahir) "betray, deceive," from Latin tradere "hand over," from trans- "across" (see trans-) + dare"to give" (see date (n.1)). Related: Betrayed; betraying.
Biblical source: I Corinthians 15:54ff: http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/15-55.htm


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