“When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Luke 22:53 KJV
Each one of us has betrayed the Lord Jesus in our own way.
One thing about the Passover lamb that we don’t give much thought to is that the command to slay the lamb is a command to betray the lamb.In Exodus 12:6 they were commanded to keep the lamb in the house for 14 days. During that time, they were to prove the worthiness of the lamb and there would naturally be a bond form between members of the family, especially with the children in the house.
When the hour came for the lamb to be sacrificed, a dread and a horror would come on every member of the family. The lamb had come to trust them and expect to be cared for by them. Yet there was no turning back from that dark hour as the knife was laid to the throat of the family lamb and its eyes turned from a trusting gleam to the darkness of death.
There was no escaping the sense of betrayal against their innocent lamb. The penalty of sin and the pain of loss that comes as a result is exactly what this sacrifice was intended to produce.
So it should be no surprise that there is a sense of shock, revulsion, fear and resistance when we look at the betrayal of Jesus at the hands of Judas. He was actually one of the most trusted among the disciples and that is why he was given the responsibility of treasurer for the group.
It is the same sense of revulsion and horror that all of us feel as we learned of this tragic shooting of 20 young children in their schoolroom in Connecticut. We ask ourselves how could anyone be so cold, so unfeeling, so cowardly? As my wife, herself a first grade teacher commented, these children are so trusting that they could have likely been running to greet the shooter with a hug when they were killed by him.
As this scene of Christ’s betrayal unfolds, we see the power of darkness that gripped the disciples as each in their own way betrayed their Lord. Most, like Mark ran and scattered to the winds. Peter would fulfill the Lord’s prediction and deny Him three times; Judas would do so with a kiss.
So it is that each of us can look and see ourselves in all of our sin and depravity, each in our own way, take our place as a betrayer of God’s Lamb.
Some of us do it as part of the crowd that sings the Praises of the King as we welcome Him into our society (John 12:13) and a few days later be part of the crowd that follows their religious rulers calling for the crucifixion of Jesus when He threatens our smug self-satisfaction. (Luke 23:20-23)
Sometimes we do it in the slumber of complacence, sleeping through the Lord’s hour of distress. (Matthew 26:36-40)
Sometimes we do it in the fear of self-preservation, running away from confessing Him as quickly as we can when we sense danger. (Mark 14:50-52)
Sometimes we will do it in the bravado of legalism, brandishing a sword of condemnation and cutting off the ears of those were given the opportunity to hear the Lord speak. (Luke 22:50,51)
Some of us will do it with a kiss: Confessing Christ as our Lord publicly, but in our hearts we are only living for ourselves to advance our own agenda. (Matthew 26:47-50)
Our Creator should have been able to trust us, His creatures, to love Him. Instead He was required to taste death for each of us as payment for our sin. (Hebrews 2:9)
All of this serves to prove the power of darkness is within each of our hearts. (Luke 22:53)
Thank God for His super abounding mercy and grace
“Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 5:20-21 KJV
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son”
Colossians 1:13 KJV