Passion Week

Experience the Resurrection
2. Betrayal & Denials

God's Word

"Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?' And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus." Matthew 26:14-16

"And He said, 'I say to you , Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me." Luke 22:34

"All the disciples left Him and fled." Matthew 26:56


In Old Testament times, thirty pieces of silver was the value of a slave accidentally gored to death by an ox (Exodus 21:32). In a prophetic fulfillment that occurred centuries later, that same sum of thirty pieces of silver was all it took for Judas to agree to hand over Jesus to the religious leaders. They traded away the Savior of the World, the Holy Son of God, the promised Messiah, for the price of a gored slave. If you've ever felt under-valued or taken for granted, Jesus can relate!

There were other denials, however — even more painful. One of Jesus' most beloved disciples, Peter, who had regularly been granted special access, ended up denying even knowing Him to three people. He was more concerned about what he looked like in the eyes of a milk maid than in the eyes of his Lord. Have you been betrayed by a loved one? Have you ever experienced someone you love the most hurting you the most? Jesus did.

The cloak represents the rest of the disciples fleeing (John fled, leaving his cloak behind when his pursuers grabbed it). Jesus was left utterly alone. He had poured Himself out for His followers; He had never let them down. But just when it mattered most, everyone one of His followers let Him down. Perhaps you've felt the same — abandoned, betrayed, left alone... You served others well, you were always there for others, but in your own time of need everyone found something else to do and left you to face your trial alone.

Once again, Jesus can completely understand your pain.

Perhaps you relate more to the disciples here than to Jesus — perhaps you feel that you relate most to Peter who failed to speak up about his faith in Christ, even though he was so well loved by Christ; perhaps you "fled" to your comfort or safety, preserving your own reputation and personal pleasures rather than follow Jesus to the service of the cross.

This isn't about the history of the disciples running from Jesus — today, it's about your history. Are you running from Jesus, or to Him? Are you speaking up — at work, at home, in your social circles — or are you abandoning Him by remaining silent? Going forward, are you willing to stand with Him, completely alone, if need be, or will you flee, leaving your cloak behind?


Lord Jesus, at times I've felt betrayed and alone, but I see now that You were with me all along, knowing exactly how I felt. Though it was painful, I thank You for allowing me to share in Your sufferings and being joined to You in a new intimacy borne of shared betrayal. At other times Lord, I have been the betrayer; I denied or ignored You. I chased after my own wishes when I knew You were calling me to something greater, but I didn't want to face the ridicule or the sacrifice. I recommit my heart to value You above all else, to treasure the faith You've made possible, and to give all I have to be a servant of Your kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.