Betrayal… such a harsh word. It’s what happened in the movies! Merriam-Webster defines betray as: 1) to lead astray; 2) to deliver to an enemy by treachery; 3) to fail or desert especially in time of need; 4) to reveal unintentionally; 5) to disclose in violation of confidence.
As I’ve been reading the various accounts of Jesus’ last days, hours, minutes on earth, the word betray has really stood out. He knew that Peter would betray him. Peter seemed a bit oblivious to the whole idea until he heard the rooster crow and then it hit him and he wept bitterly. Was it too late? First Peter acted confused and tried to divert the attention somewhere else. Then he denied knowing Jesus outright. Lastly, he cursed and swore as he denied knowing the Savior.
We’ve all been betrayed and we’ve all been the betrayer. Neither place is a comfortable one to be in. To be betrayed means that someone or something has hurt us, let us down, defied our confidence, lied to us, left us, broken our hearts. It comes in large packages or small. Either way, it’s betrayal and it hurts. To be the betrayer means that we’ve wronged someone else. We’ve hurt someone, let someone down, defied someone’s confidence, lied to someone, broken someone’s heart. Some of our betrayal has been small and maybe unnoticed, while other has been big and visible. Hmmmm… guess it doesn’t just happen in the movies!
Either side of the betrayal fence is tough. I’d rather not be standing on either side, but life happens and we are all human. The good news for me is that I don’t have to live in hurt and pain when I’ve been betrayed. The other side of that is than when I have betrayed someone, I don’t have to live in guilt and shame. Both sides of the fence are fields of forgiveness. Christ died on the cross for me so that I might be forgiven – no matter the side of the fence I find myself standing on. His death affords me the ability to forgive those whom have betrayed me and ask forgiveness to those whom I have betrayed. There is such freedom in that!