Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Was it really the money? Did Judas betray Jesus for coins? 30 pieces may have been about 4-month's wages. In our time: $15,000-$30,000. Or was it the proximity to power? Those with the political and economic power in the metropolis of the day were giving Judas attention. He was in the circle of power.
And how did Judas betray Jesus? He did it in a way that many still betray God and one another today: with a kiss. With a smile. With a handshake. Knowing full well that what they are actually doing is handing them over to pain and suffering.
Betrayal sucks. Often because with the kiss is also silence. Betrayal is a quiet stab in the back. It is a father walking away from their son to feel the sting of being alone. It is neglect. It is isolation.
If you have have been betrayed, know this, this week, today -- Jesus was not only betrayed, he felt the soul sting that came with it. His friends left him. Those that were with him didn't have his back. And -- if you have betrayed someone, know that Jesus' understands the betrayer, the Judas in us, and has as much compassion for him as the thief on the cross, as much as God the Father did for David the betrayer of Uriah. There is forgiveness for our silence and our treachery.
The moment of betrayal should bring us into the darkness of this moment in Holy Week and help us realize: His Light and Love is greater. As Paul says of what Jesus the betrayed has done for us in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
His Light and Love is greater.