JOHN 13:20-22 (NIV)
"'Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.' After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, 'Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.' His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant."
As a musician and worship leader, I have an appreciation for unique photos or drawings of things musical or that point to music as an inspiration for worship. So, when I came across a close-up photo of an imperfect white vintage-style piano with missing ivory keys, I was drawn in. But what fixed my attention was the quote by Gwen Smith, which read, “Broken can be beautiful when grace sings the melody.”
We know intellectually that God is able to heal even the deepest of hurts, but how does that knowledge interact with our experience? In John 13:21-22, the stage is set. Jesus is in the Upper Room with his disciples. He knows he will soon suffer for the sake of all mankind and that one of the twelve will seal the deal through the ultimate betrayal: Jesus’ life for a payout.
Our human nature tells us that Jesus had every right to be angry. But when we look deep into the character of Jesus, we see something so loving, so compassionate, so holy as Jesus turns to the one seated in a place of honor — Judas, maybe the most trusted disciple — and hands him the bread, almost as if he were handing Judas his very life.
Can you recall a time when you were betrayed or deeply hurt by a friend or loved one? Maybe the wound remains fresh and you relive the emotions you felt as you realized that the relationship would never be the same. If the betrayal involved someone you loved deeply, it is a bitter pill. Suddenly, you are in the game, the ball in your court. You have to make a decision. Forgiveness? Anger, resentment, bitterness?
I don’t know about you, but I cannot fully comprehend how Jesus endured the rejection and pain inflicted on him, nor how certain my ability is to always get past the hurt and see people the way God does. Jesus knew that his fight was against the spiritual forces of evil and not Judas. He looked straight into the eyes of evil with love rather than contempt, grace instead of judgment. He was able to look beyond the betrayal purely out of an unwavering abundant love for… well, us.
Although most of us cannot relate our stories of hurt and betrayal to that of Christ, each of us can interject our personal need for God’s melody of grace in our lives—that we are made whole through grace’s song of restoration and forgiveness, regardless of our current condition, pain, or brokenness.
“Broken can be beautiful when grace sings the melody.”
What a beautiful picture of God’s redemption. Can you hear his song? It is the song of the overcomer!
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION
- Have you been deeply hurt by another person and struggle to trust others? Reflect for a moment on that instance and how it has affected you and your relationships.
- Do you trust that God’s love is deep enough, wide enough, and high enough to heal your hurt or repair broken relationships in your life? How might you ask him for a deeper trust in his goodness and power today?
- If you have ever been wronged by someone close to you and live with resentment toward that person, what can you do today that will set you on the path of forgiveness?
This reading is a part of our "Small Feet Big Shoes" devotional series. You can also sign up to receive these meditations by email.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rhonda Gervais has been with CRM for nine years, currently serving as the director of Staff Relations. She and her husband, Ron, live in Anaheim, California, and have two grown daughters, two grandchildren, and a granddog. Rhonda leads worship at Calvary Chapel East Anaheim.