Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
Lets' talk about Judas.....
God is always bringing fresh life to His Word. It is in fact, "alive" isn't it??!! 

Full of new life.
Full of new truth.

As I have been considering this precious Easter season and reading the scriptures that take us step by step, moment by moment through the last days of the life of Jesus, I have yet again been struck with a fresh revelation.

There have been a few very memorable times over the past 25 years when Easter has taken on a new level of meaning for me. Times when God has used my life circumstances to help me get a little more clarity of what He actually endured during His last days on earth. 

One year, my oldest son was involved in a diving accident just a few weeks before Easter, that left him with his neck broken in 2 places. It is an amazing story that I love to tell because of how God revealed Himself to our entire family in such a graphic and miraculous way. My son was completely healed but his treatment required that he be placed in "Halo" Traction. If you have never seen this process, it involves having 4 screws drilled into your scull with a contraption that reminds me of a tomato stake from a garden. The frame keeps your head fixed in a straight position so that your spine will heal from being broken. 

I remember writing a poem that year expressing my fresh understanding of how our Father God must have felt to see nails driven into the palms and feet of His Beloved Son. 

What LOVE can compare?

In recent days as I have contemplated this kind of love and I have fixed my heart again on the last days of the life of our Lord, God has given me yet another personal look at the sacrifice of Jesus.

I have experienced what I perceive to be a heartbreaking betrayal.

We have all experienced it.
We have all dealt it out.

I am fully aware of the variety of explanations and perspectives that any situation like this carries. I know that everyone has an opinion and a justification and even a finger to point. This is not about that.

I do not care about any of that. All I care about is that someone I thought was a friend, someone I have WANTED as a friend, betrayed me, from MY perspective. 

My heart was broken.

As I cried out to God about my sadness, He reminded me of Judas. He reminded me of how Jesus responded to His betrayal.

Now I am not saying that these two situations are ANYTHING alike. I am just sharing what I learned afresh and how JESUS is teaching me to respond when I think I have been betrayed.

Read about it in:
Matt 26:20-25
Mark 14:17-21
Luke 22:21-23
John 13:21-32

Again, I want to be perfectly clear that I am not even beginning to compare my situation with what Jesus experienced. 

Jesus was sinless, I am not.
Jesus was selfless, I am not.
Jesus responded perfectly the first time, I did not.

I am just sharing how God used this story to remind me about how I am to behave and how I am to respond when I feel I have been betrayed. My prayer is that it helps someone out there to get through if you are feeling betrayed, or if you have betrayed someone who has considered you a friend.

Here was Jesus, breaking bread, sharing His last meal with someone that He knew would betray Him, someone He considered a friend, someone He chose to draw into His inner circle, His most private moments, His weakest hour. There is so much there that it makes my head spin and makes me hungry for the Word to penetrate my every fiber. It makes me hungry to understand more, to live more, to reflect more of His love!

It also made me wonder about Judas. What leads a person to betrayal of a friend--
A desire to be someone? 
A diving force to do something they want to do? 
Have something they yearn to have?
Selfish ambition?

At my last retreat, we looked at a "Wrong Place Checklist". All of those things were on it.

Another point that God showed me in this study is that in the end, Judas hanged himself. 
I do not want to "hang myself", do you?

In any case, Jesus simply acknowledged the betrayal and moved on with His mission, the call on His life. 

He moved towards MORE SURRENDER and what would be His greatest hour!!!

Help me my Saviour, SURRENDER ALL. 

Even my need to be loved, my need for loyalty from the "Inner Circle" you have placed around me, my need for understanding, my need for acknowledgement.

Oh God, Your Grace is Enough!!


Anonymous Tim said...

Hi Mom...

Sorry to hear you had a rough week, but I'm glad that, as usual, the Lord used it for your good.

ALL THINGS work together for the GOOD of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose..

That means you, and me!

BTW - Neck was broken in 3 places, not two... don't sell me short!

Blogger Pat said...

Just more to praise for huh?!!

I guess I have a tough time just allowing myself to remember it at all!!

God is amazing and so are you!

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