March 05, 2022
Bishop Saenz continues his new video series for Lent, “Cross Walk,” today with Station 2 – “Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested by Judas.” This Lenten journey is a contemplative pilgrimage through Christ’s sufferings, death, and burial based on fourteen biblical Stations of the Cross found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Please visit ctcumc.org/crosswalk for links to download and save/share this video and to access all the videos available in this series.
Betrayal is traumatic. Responses to betrayal include shock, loss and grief, and pre-occupation with trying to pinpoint when things in the relationship went sour. Self-esteem is damaged. Self-doubting and anger are normal.
The most common forms of betrayal are harmful disclosures of confidential information, disloyalty, infidelity, and dishonesty.
The four gospels name Judas as the one that betrayed Jesus. He betrays Jesus through dishonesty, disloyalty, and by disclosing information about his whereabouts. Judas’ betrayal sets in motion the arrest, trial, and death by crucifixion of Jesus, and eventually Jesus’ resurrection.
The path of betrayal takes time.
At some point in Judas’ relationship with Jesus, Judas disengaged and stopped investing himself in the relationship. Judas quit on Jesus long before he stepped out on his own into the night to betray him to the religious authorities in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.
Scholars suggest Judas was motivated to betray Jesus because he loved money. Others suggest he became disillusioned when Jesus showed little interest in leading a rebellion against the Romans and reestablishing Israel’s sovereignty. And yet another theory is that Judas handed Jesus over, in effect, to stop Jesus from leading a rebellion that could be potentially dangerous for the Jewish people.
We will never know what motivated Judas to betray Jesus, only that he did. But let’s be clear, Judas and those that arrested Jesus did not take him against his will into custody. Jesus gave himself for us in self-giving love and in surrender to God’s mysterious will.
Jesus does not confront Judas when kissed by him. Jesus maintains silence. His silence before Judas, his betrayer, reveals Jesus’ complete trust in God’s love for him and God’s power to vindicate him through the resurrection.
As we contemplate the second station of the cross, Jesus is Betrayed by Judas and Arrested, we pray for three graces.
The first grace is the grace to heal from betrayal, if we have been harmed by betrayal, recently or in the past.
The second grace is the grace to stay engaged with Jesus by investing time with him in prayer, scripture, service to others in his name, and worship so that we do not grow apart from him.
The third grace is the grace to trust in God’s love and care for us, especially when we face trouble.
Let us pray: We adore you O Christ, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. You sympathize with our human weakness, tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Grant us the graces we need to boldly live for you in holiness of life. Amen.