There in the photo behind him stands his betrayer, John Wilkes Booth, the man who would shoot him in the head at Ford’s Theater just over a month later on April 14, right after the intermission ended and the play, “Our American Cousin” began again. It seems ominous that Booth would have been in that picture--some speculate the he had intended to do the deed that very day--but by definition, betrayers are always somewhere close to the ones they will betray, looking for an opportunity.
If there had been a camera invented that Passover night 2000 years ago, don’t you think you would see Judas there, dipping his bread with Jesus, perhaps sharing a smile or warm word with a fellow apostle? I am not certain when Booth made his plans to murder his leader, but Judas that night already had his plans made. In fact, Jesus sent him off to carry them out.
Usually we don’t have cameras going on Sunday mornings, but if we did, I wonder how many betrayers would be caught communing with their fellow disciples and their Lord? Do you take the Lord’s Supper planning to go out and continue in sin the next week? Do you already have it on your calendar? Will you leave His presence and refuse to confess your faith in Him before your friends and acquaintances? Will you sigh and give in just because the fight is long and hard and you don’t like what it will cost you to win? Do you simply approach the week with absolutely no plans of how to thwart the enemy and his lures, stumbling like a fool straight into his hands?
How many of us take the bread that represents “the body” God “prepared” for Him to live in an ignominious life (Heb 10:5), then refuse to present our own bodies in a living sacrifice every day? How many of us take the juice that represents the horrible death He died, then refuse to crucify ourselves so He can live in us? How many of us sit with Him weekly in this family meal, then go out and act like someone else’s brothers instead of His?
If God took a picture of us all on Sunday mornings, which ones of us would be called the Betrayers?
A man who has set at nought Moses’ law dies without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, do you think, shall he be judged worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:28-31