The Betrayal

Read John 13: 1-38

What would you say to your friends, your most devoted followers, if you were Jesus at the last supper? Christ knows His time is short. He knows He will be betrayed by Judas and Peter. He most likely even feels Satan’s presence in the room as Satan slips into Judas’ soul at the table.

Can you imagine Satan doing this? What was going through his head as this entire scene was playing out? Satan is real. He’s lurking around us trying to find the right moment to attack, and you had better believe he is stealthy. Satan can use something thought of as harmless to kill. He can twist God’s truth in the Bible to mean something totally opposite, and he does it with clockwork precision.

If we don’t have our guard up against this enemy, he can slip into our lives as easily as sand sliding through an hourglass. Believe me, I know from experience. This guy has whispered sweet nothings to me, slipped into my soul, and consumed me. All because I was not defending myself properly against his attacks. The more we read God’s word, the more we lash back at the evil one, shoving him back into the corner where he needs to be.

We pick up our narrative here not from the perspective of who you might be thinking of here. Judas, Peter, Christ … they are all pawns in this chess match of good versus evil, but Satan is always forgotten. Maybe this is the Frank Peretti in me coming out. Let’s get into the mind of someone I’d rather not think about but who I know I need to be leery of. Let’s get into the heart of Satan.

There was drama going on with the men below him. Satan perched himself in the shadows of the rafters above them. His red eyes glowed dimly calculating the perfect moment to strike like a cobra. His black talons, strong and powerful, clenched the wooden beam below him. His victim was already chosen. Judas’ heart wrestled back and forth between what was right and what was wrong, but Satan knew he was wavering toward the darkness.

Christ was now whispering to the disciple He loved next to Him. Judas sipped the wine before him. The alcohol polluted his soul, numbing him to what he was about to do. Christ dipped the bread and lifted it toward Judas. The evil one attacked swiftly, purposefully, flying from the rafters and swooping down into the heart of Judas. His talons clenched, squeezing everything that was good and pure right out of Judas’ being. And he chortled, snickering to himself, pleased with the way he was using one of Christ’s own followers to deceive.

Judas’ eyes glazed over. He sat up stiff as a board. Christ’s words to Judas were being drowned out by a hideous warlike screech coming from deep within his soul. This was followed by a laugh, a deep bellowing laugh that mocked Christ and all He stood for. Judas, at the mercy of the evil one, got up and left the room like a robot. He knew not where he was going; all he knew was that he was going to betray. Satan’s laugh continued as Judas strolled out the door into the darkness.

Christ ached for him. He knew exactly what was going on, yet he could not stop the inevitable. This was the beginning of the end for Jesus. Deceived by one of his own. Christ could have let this feeling overwhelm Him, but He didn’t. Instead Christ used this moment to preach God’s message to those who remained around him at the table. His commandment could have been to watch out for the evil one or be careful of those who betray, but instead he took a different stance. Christ went straight to the force that could attack Satan, and he let that thought dominate the room.

Love one another. Did you hear that? LOVE one another. Not anything about hate or betrayal or deception. Nothing about guarding yourself against Satan. Christ went straight for His trump card and lay it down with all the gusto and bravado He had left inside. And guess what ended up prevailing in the end? What reigns supreme? You all know the story. The most brutal, horrendous execution of its culture, death by crucifixion, was used to show love to all, and it still conquers to this very day and all eternity.

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