Usually Good Friday comes and goes for me. Easter weekend is one like any other except I’ll see my family on Sunday and eat ham and rolls.
This year, though, I’m finding myself drawn to Jesus’ betrayal. I, too, have been betrayed at certain points in my life, some more tragic than others and some impossible to reconcile while there is at least the means for such to happen with others. But never have I been able to see Jesus as being able to relate to me in that very well.
Until last night. I was at a Maundy Thursday service at church where the suffering of Christ is all that is discussed. The story of the Resurrection is appropriately left for Sunday. The story of Jesus sitting with his best friends, one of whom would hand him over to his death and the rest who would flee rather than be by his side and suddenly I saw myself in the same position, surrounded by those who had hurt me so much.
Now I make no claim to be at all very much like Jesus in that I have yet to be crucified or otherwise physically harmed to a great extent and I have no powers resembling that of God. But the overwhelming feeling of knowing that someone else went through something akin to my own pain in life was wonderfully refreshing. And for a span of moments, I was able to see how Jesus could love them in the midst of their betrayals and forgive those who did not know what they were doing.
There are differences, for instance Judas died whereas my outright betrayers have not. I have to figure out how to live with them in the world, near or far. So there is more to figure out as I continue in life and attend the events where I may meet these people again and again. But seeing how Jesus’ betrayal lead to his death and, more importantly, his resurrection over that death and betrayal is comforting. Not only can I recover from these events in my life (some I already have prior to this), but greater and grander things can come of it than previously possible.