when friends desert you

Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. [Matthew 26:45-49 ESV]

The thought that comes to me as I read this is "With friends like these who needs enemies?"
Before the betrayer comes all of Jesus friends sleep - no one is there in his hour of need.
When crisis comes his friends run away and Jesus stands all alone.

And this crisis - it comes in the form of a kiss.
I cannot imagine how the heart of Jesus broke as he saw Judas walking towards him.
Jesus certainly knew, and experienced, gut-wrenching disappointment that day.

I cannot imagine the thoughts that went through his mind.
In a matter of moments all of his friends would run and forsake him.
These who he lived with him every day for three years would abandon him.

I want to find something redeeming in this moment for God but I cannot.
I want to end this meditation on something positive and uplifting.
But all I can see is Jesus standing in the garden all alone and with a broken heart.

Perhaps the message in this story is that sometimes life breaks your heart?
Maybe it reveals that doing the right thing does not always give good results?
And it might be possible that times like these give us context for friends who do not run?

I am so sorry for all of the times that I have broken your heart Lord. Please forgive me.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.

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