On the Night He was Betrayed

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus looked around the room at those who would abandon Him… and He washed their feet.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus taught humility and love… and then ultimately demonstrated.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus took bread… who could eat on a night like this?
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus broke the bread… and felt the breaking in His body.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus gave thanks… thanks? Thanks for the bread, for the brokenness, for the salvation of those who would grieve Him.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus lifted the cup… and tasted His own blood on His lips.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus celebrated… celebrated God sparing His children by the blood of lambs, and of the Lamb.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus told the truth, “one of you will betray me”… but He did not seek revenge.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus looked at His betrayer… and ate with Him.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus gave bread and wine… and then gave everything.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus settled a petty dispute about who was greater… and then demonstrated the answer as the one who gives of Himself.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus forgave those who would leave Him… THAT VERY NIGHT.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus sang a hymn… who could choke out a song on a night like this?
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus knew He would be abandoned by His closest friends… but HE comforted THEM.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus listened to His friends pledge to stay with Him… and then watched them all run away.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus confided in His friends and fell to the ground in sorrow… while they fell asleep.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus cared about the temptation of his friends… but knew they would fall to it.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus looked forward to taking His disciples to be with Him one day… even though they slept through His deepest hour of need.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus gave peace to those who left Him… not punishment.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed for protection… for those who didn’t try to protect Him.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus spoke of joy… how could He even think about such a thing?
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus asked God for a change of plan… while surrendering to His will.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus was strengthened by God… even in His anguish.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed for the glory of God… even as He was about to be disgraced.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus allowed Himself to be kissed by death… in the body of one of his dearest friends.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus rebuked violence and defense… and gave Himself up.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus healed one arresting Him… though His own body would be broken in far bigger ways.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus looked His closest friend in the eyes… just after that friend denied three times that he even knew Him.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus spoke of His resurrection… but was accused of blaspheme.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus endured ridicule, spit, and hatred… but He was silent. *

I don’t understand this kind of love. On the 2,850th night after I’ve been betrayed, abandoned, neglected, hurt… I avoid washing feet. Breaking bread ties my stomach in knots. I rear against humility even as I long for it and pray for unconditional love. I often fight the brokenness and occasionally find the strength to choke out thanks. My celebration is tainted. I want justice. I join in the disciples’ petty dispute that I am right… that I am greater. I hold onto the hurt caused by those who left me instead of receiving the comfort that Jesus offers me in release. Sometimes I can hardly sing. My tongue refuses to speak of joy. I do still care deeply, while simultaneously reliving the pain of abandonment in my darkest hours. I want punishment AND peace, even though the two cannot coexist. I fall to my knees in sorrow and ask God to change His mind about forgiveness… because I’m frustrated by the lack of change I see in my heart. Unlike Jesus, I avoid eye contact because it might betray the hold deep sorrow still has on me. I don’t know how to surrender, and it’s not for lack of trying. There must be something I’m still missing…

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed for ME…
How could that knowledge not spur me on to keep praying, to keep pleading, to keep singing, to keep serving, to keep loving? As long as I continue falling to my knees as many times as it takes, I am strengthened by God to keep going.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed for unity among all of us… even as He watched discord and separation rule that particular night.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus declared God’s love for us… knowing the crushing weight of our sin that would be placed on Him.
Knowing that this kind of selfless power lives inside of us gives us the drive to keep putting one foot in front of the other… or one knee in front of the other as we kneel to wash each others’ feet. The love Jesus is growing inside of us gives us the ability to glorify God even in our continued brokenness.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Nothing paints a clearer picture of this verse than Jesus on the night He was betrayed. I fight against loving deeply because it hurts. Jesus loved deeply and was hurt. Why do I think it should be different for me? But Jesus also loved deeply and forgave, possessed joy, experienced peace, and gave glory to God… because His love covered the multitude of sins against Him. His love lives inside of me… with the ability to cover all of the wrongs stacked up against me so that all I see is love. Love blanketing the jagged edges, softening the blows with God’s comfort. What a beautiful picture.

On this night when Jesus was betrayed, may we feel His love well up in us… and forgive. May we accept the peace that He gives us… and trust. May we sing with the joy He gives us… and celebrate. And may we live on our knees more often than not. Let us do this in remembrance of Him.

Song I’m feeling: The Basin and the Towel, by Michael Card
“And the space between ourselves sometimes
Is more than the distance between the stars
By the fragile bridge of the Servant’s bow
We take up the basin and the towel
And the call is to community
The impoverished power that sets the soul free
In humility, to take the vow
That day after day we must take up the basin and the towel.”

*1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13-17

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Author: Karina Baker

Hello, my dear friends! Glad to see you here. Thank you for reading about my beautiful rubble - my struggles with life, faith, and autoimmunity. Feel free to share your stories in the comments. My love and prayers to all of you!

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