Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Jesus could have spent his whole life locked in fear and dread knowing what he was going to face at the hand's of men at the end of his life. Yet, he didn't.
Jesus lived day after day knowing what was coming in the final days of his life; the betrayal, the suffering, the shame, and the scorn. How dreadful. How hopeless that could have felt, if he had allowed himself to dwell upon it. If he had allowed it to be his focus each day, it would have rendered him hopeless and depressed. Yet, he wasn't. He choose to live each moment in surrender, doing the things in front of him that his Father asked him to do. He did not obsess about how to prepare for his fate on the cross. He did not let his mind get preoccupied and make a plan to avoid it, or flee from it.
Day by day, he walked this earth with complete trust. Trust that his Father in heaven is in control. Trust that he would have what he needed each moment of his life to fulfill his calling and purpose. What a beautiful, perfect example of a surrendered life he lived for us.
"While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” ~Luke 22:47-48
Notice that Jesus did not scream and yell at Judas. He did not condemn him and say, "Judas, how dare you?" Instead, he merely asked him a question. He gave Judas time and space to analyze his own behavior; an opportunity to confess, repent and ask for forgiveness. But Judas, filled with pride, refused and continued with his betrayal.
Have you ever experienced the crushing blow of betrayal? Have you ever been the betrayer? I think most have been in both of these roles, either knowingly or unknowingly; either with intention or without. How do you handle it?
Jesus did not let the trauma of betrayal take over his mind, will, or emotions.
"When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." ~1 Peter 2:23
Instead of reacting, Jesus surrendered to his Father and left room for Him to move. We are to do the same.
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone." ~Romans 12:17
God does a much better job taking care of other's sin than we ever could. He knows the heart of the betrayer and the betrayed.
"Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" ~Romans 2:4
"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” ~Romans 12:19
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. What joy? Perhaps the joy of knowing that he was saving you, my friend. The joy of one day scooping you up and taking you home! The joy of our great reunion one day together inside His kingdom. The joy of living in that incredible kingdom with his beloved bride, forever!
We can trust that the same power that gave Jesus courage to face each day of his life with joy despite what was coming, lives in us and can fill our hearts with joy despite what is unfolding all around us. The times are uncertain, but the power of God is unchanging, unending and His promises to us are unthreatened.