A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Betrayal — Our Lord knows all about it

By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:8-9 ESV)

The Judas Kiss 

47 While He was still speaking, suddenly a mob was there, and one of the Twelve named Judas was leading them. He came near Jesus to kiss Him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? 49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50 Then one of them struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus responded, “No more of this!” And touching his ear, He healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, temple police, and the elders who had come for Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal? 53 Every day while I was with you in the temple complex, you never laid a hand on Me. But this is your hour—and the dominion of darkness.(Luke 22, HCSB) 

Psalm 55

1 God, listen to my prayer and do not ignore my plea for help. 2 Pay attention to me and answer me. I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint, 3 because of the enemy’s voice, because of the pressure of the wicked. For they bring down disaster on me and harass me in anger. 4 My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me. 5 Fear and trembling grip me; horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and find rest. 7 How far away I would flee; I would stay in the wilderness.  Selah 8 I would hurry to my shelter from the raging wind and the storm.” 9 Lord, confuse and confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city; 10 day and night they make the rounds on its walls. Crime and trouble are within it; 11 destruction is inside it; oppression and deceit never leave its marketplace. 12 Now it is not an enemy who insults me— otherwise I could bear it; it is not a foe who rises up against me— otherwise I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man who is my peer, my companion and good friend! 14 We used to have close fellowship; we walked with the crowd into the house of God. 15 Let death take them by surprise; let them go down to Sheol alive, because evil is in their homes and within them. 16 But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. 17 I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and He hears my voice. 18 Though many are against me, He will redeem me from my battle unharmed. 19 God, the One enthroned from long ago, will hear and will humiliate themSelah because they do not change and do not fear God. 20 My friend acts violently against those at peace with him; he violates his covenant. 21 His buttery words are smooth, but war is in his heart. His words are softer than oil, but they are drawn swords. 22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. 23 God, You will bring them down to the Pit of destruction; men of bloodshed and treachery will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.

I assume Easter Friday is called ‘Good Friday’ because what Jesus did on that day made open the way of salvation. He knew that because of what he was about to do He would see his seed — his generation — his bride. But it wasn’t a good day for Jesus at the time. It was a horrible day.

He was betrayed by a man who was supposedly his close friend. An even closer friend promised to support him but fell asleep while he was agonizing, and later disowned him.  He was interrrogated and pushed from pillar to post by power-mongering men who had no fear of God. He was witnessed against by liars, was spat upon, punched, beaten, had his hair pulled, was whipped, scoffed at, ridiculed and insulted for telling the truth, taunted, stripped of his clothes and dignity, offered drugged wine, and killed by slow torture involving violent stabbing of his body, dislocation of his joints, blood loss, dehydration, asphyxiation, and eventually heart failure.

May we all flee to him, cling to him and rest in him — for he saves all who come to him with humble hearts, and he knows our griefs and pains, our weaknesses, our limping, our failures and our fears.

And although the dominion of darkness held sway for those few hours, the betrayers will face Him on Judgement Day to receive their just rewards.

17 Comments

  1. Still Reforming

    Amen. I have pondered similarly.

    I’m not keen on the fact that this Friday is dubbed “good” when it involved such suffering for our Lord, through Whom and for Whom all things were created. I realize of course it is for the ultimate “good” for God’s children, but I still shudder at the adjective knowing what happened to Jesus on that day.

    Also, Judas’ kiss and Jesus’ words (“Must you betray me with a kiss?”) resonated all the louder when I became aware of the intentional deceit and abuse in my own home by my own spouse. Our Lord’s suffering became intensely personal on that day.

  2. ruth

    Oh how He loves us and knows our deepest sorrows. Thank you for writing so eloquently.

  3. Seeing Clearly

    Wonderful reflection for today. I know that Jesus is my only true hope.

  4. bright sunshinin' day

    Thanks, Barb, for sharing these truths this Easter Weekend. He was crushed and betrayed for His Beloved so that they could choose life and choose not to return to bondage. Gal 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

  5. Joe Godal

    Good meditation, Barbara. I have a friend who says Psalm 55 describes her life as an abused wife. I think of her and others whenever I read it. Happy Easter to you & Jeff. Joe

  6. healingInHim

    Such a blessing to read this post … Thank you to all ACFJ staff who labor tirelessly to exhort and comfort the downtrodden.

  7. Anotheranon

    Our pastor today also mentioned this being called “Good” Friday. I immediately thought of Rom.8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)
    One of my children was in critical condition in the hospital a few years ago. God healed my child; many of us believe it was a miracle. I have lived with the hope of Romans 8:28 many times in my life.
    We have situations that seem hopeless, just as the crucifixion seemed 2000 years ago, but God has a plan for good for us. It starts with Jesus. He gives us hope and life.

  8. outofdarkness

    My heart has been comforted by this timely message. Right now I am in between shelters with several kids fleeing a dv situation. For years I believed I couldn’t leave because I didn’t accept that what I was experiencing was abuse and I believed it was God’s will for me to stay. I prayed that if this was abuse God would remove us. Within a week cps got involved and told me that I have to leave my husband in order to keep my kids. I have to prove that I will keep them out of the abusive situation. I may loose my kids and I request prayer for this situation. This post touched me because my husband has already created lies to get support of the community and church on his side..they believe I am the problem. I feel so betrayed that he can physically abuse our children and still paint himself as the victim. I feel so alone..but Jesus was betrayed too…I take comfort in that.

    • Still Reforming

      outofdarkness,
      I am praying for you to be able to keep your children – and for the Lord to give you wisdom and comfort. I pray you and your children are comfortable, safe, and have all you need. (((hugs)))

    • outofdarkness, I shall pray for you. It sounds like the CPS intervention was an answer to your prayer!

      I do hear your fear that you may lose your children, but there is a positive aspect to this too: the stipulation by CPS that you keep the kids safe (keep them out of his abusive reach) could mean that if in a divorce process he pushes to have access or custody of the kids, you have the CPS backing you up saying THAT’S NOT SAFE FOR THE KIDS!

      Many of our readers when they go thru the Family Court process wish they had an authority with clout behind them saying that the kids musn’t see their abusive father, because it is so bad for the kids.

      So, bless you, brave you for taking the step of getting out and going to a shelter/shelters, and keep on keeping on!

      I suggest you do not listen to all the words and pressure from the church and from your abuser and his allies. Resist it, block it out from penetrating your spirit. It is all based on lies and spin from the abuser, compounded exponentially by false notions in the church that put marriage on a pedestal (IDOLATRY) at the expense of the oppressed spouse who is suffering slow torture and near soul-death in the marriage. I suggest you push off all the false guilt they are trying to lay on you. They are wrong. Period. They are not safe to listen to. And in this crisis it is not your job to educate them; trying to educate them would only drain your limited energy.

      I suggest you listen, instead, to the DV professionals at the shelter and any other DV workers who you can access support from. Maybe a recovery group for survivors would be a good thing to do at some point. The shelter workers would be able to direct you to one.

      You may also find it helpful to look at our Safety Planning page under the Resources tab in the top menu. The DV professionals are probably helping you with safety planning already, but every little bit of info helps, and the more your read and understand about risk assessment and safety planning, the better, I think.

      ((hugs))

    • Also, outofdarkness, you might find it helpful to read our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to disidentify details in your comments to help guard your safety while commmenting on this blog. XX

  9. loves6

    How do I deal with a mother that has betrayed me?
    She was my main support person as a navigate my way out of an abusive marriage. She didn’t know the extent of the abuse till about 2 years ago. She said she would support me.

    I left home a while back and stayed with her. I did things when I was there I talked to her about in confidence, believing she would be there for me as she said she would.

    I was manipulated back home [by my abuser] and have been back for a number of weeks in a seperate bedroom.

    She has phoned an older child and told her things I thought she’d keep to herself. Things that could cause more abuse and damage to me. I phoned her the night I found out amd confronted her .. I was furious.
    She justified everything .. I was stunned. Then today I hear she has rung my older child again and told her she has a bombshell about me that will blow the family apart (it’s already blown apart).. I’m separated from my abuser in my eyes. I don’t wear my rings and I sleep separatly. I coparent.

    This situation that has developed puts me in emotional danger. If she betrays me again it will be horrific for me emotionally.
    Do you think I should go to refuge?
    Do you think I should confronted my mother again ? (I feel not)
    I’m scared …I was shaking all over my body, I’m in shock that my mother would do this.

    • I think going to a refuge is an excellent idea. I think your gut feeling is right — about not confronting your mother. Her betrayal of you, and especially the way she announced to that older child that she has a bombshell to tell which will blow the family apart — that strongly suggests to me that she is anticipating and relishing the attention she thinks will get from from dropping the ‘bombshell’. She is not a safe person.

      Please don’t blame yourself for having thought she was your supporter. Many of us have had similar experiences: we have thought that someone (or some church) was our supporter, and we later found out that they were not our supporters. This is the minefield of domestic abuse. The truth gets revealed bit by bit — and that includes the truth about who is and who is not truly supporting and believing the victim.

      Remember: it is not your fault. You are not to blame. You have been abused. You have been betrayed.

      Yes, do seek refuge in a shelter. You need an environment where you feel safe and where people believe you and will not betray you. 🙂

      many (((hugs))) from Barb

      • loves6

        Thank you Barb
        I have spoken to refuge .. if my mother comes out with the bombshell I will go to refuge. This is what had been organized
        I have decided to find a place with my children and government benefit. This has been a very hard hurdle for me to jump over but I have turned a corner in the past week. My mothers betrayal of me being the straw that broke the camels back. I do not feel safe with any family members.
        It is going to be tuff financially but I feel excited to think I can be free.
        I have boundaries and things I will require of the children’s father so the trauma of a change in lifestyle will not affect the kids too much.
        I will not be able to afford their schooling and outside activities .. these things I feel he will have to take care of.
        I read Lundys book this morning .. one tip in the book was .. write my experience down .. when I feel my abuser is being Mr Nice Guy and changing read what he has done to make me realize what he has done … yes … I know my abuser hasnt changed and I know he is being this Mr Nice Guy to manipulate back into his bed
        I feel I have been betrayed in my marriage .. he hasn’t had an affair but he has betrayed my trust with using my past pain against me…. the evilness in these abusive people is so hard to put into words … my mother being one of them

        Thanks again Barb

  10. Innoscent

    I walked on one of these mines again just a few days ago… a Christian friend who had been supportive through the separation from my abusive H and in which I had confided much. I had also been supportive to her in many ways with her own challenges (unrelated to abuse). When I found out about the betrayal of trust by dealing with my H secretly, I was devastated and I had a moment of numbness and I cried out to God for guidance and support. Then I confronted her there and then the best way possible I knew how from the Bible.

    I could not believe the arguments she came up with and the facts I heard made the betrayal even worse! I seemed to hear the very words of my H coming out of her mouth and I knew she had let herself be contaminated by him somehow although I had warned her to have nothing to do with him and although I had educated her about abuse, shared many facts from my own life and the Bible too.

    Well I also knew in my heart that the friendship was over, that the damage was done.

    Again it hurt deep inside very much and my circle of true friends is shrinking. I thought of how Jesus was abandoned by all and that collateral damage is unfortunately part of the offensive armada of the abuser. However I am immensely thankful to God for His compassion and for the strength He gave me to keep standing through this and for the support of the faithful couple friends left. Also I can see that ultimately He is making a clean sweep of my surroundings.

    I so appreciate the verses above especially in Ps 55. As for Judas I’ve heard quite a few times at church the argument that Jesus called Judas ‘friend’ (Mt 26.50) as he greeted him with a kiss, and so we ought to do the same… whatever this means… which adds more confusion and paralysis to an already apathetic church mostly siding with perpetrators.

    Thank you for allowing me to express my pain, thank you for this blog of compassion, truth and courage. Part of my surviving and healing is thanks to you at ACFJ, team and participants.

    • … As for Judas I’ve heard quite a few times at church the argument that Jesus called Judas ‘friend’ (Mt 26.50) as he greeted him with a kiss, and so we ought to do the same…

      AARRGGHH!

      • Innoscent

        So frustrating…! I’ve even heard twice now some expressing pity for Judas and that God will have forgiven him! Exactly what that ‘friend’ did, pitying my H about something, and wanting to ‘help’. That was the last straw.

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