As we prepare for Easter, past and present Pepperdiners contribute reflections on Jesus’ journey to the cross. Today’s is from Diana Lee Shing, our Administrative Coordinator for Convocation and Student-Led Ministries.
Mark 14: 43-46 Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested
While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
I believe that trust allows for deep intimacy in relationships, to experience ‘knowing’ and ‘being known.’ Being a newlywed, I experience the deepest intimacy that can exist between two people. Our mutual trust is the foundation for our love, communication, and well-being. Yet, that is why I see betrayal as the ultimate act of destruction, for it breeches the very bedrock of trust that exists between two people. I simply cannot imagine what marriages must go through after an extramarital affair or a breach of trust. For me, it feels as if there would be no way to redeem the relationship or be able to truly forgive the person you once trusted.
Jesus trusted himself to his twelve disciples, walking with them and sharing life with them daily. I believe that in this way, Jesus had an intimate relationship with his disciples. Yet, Judas betrays Jesus in Mark 14: 43-46 with a kiss, a symbol that shows an intimate connection with another. Judas decided to break all trust with Jesus, for his own gain.
Yet Jesus’ response was not one of my own.
Whereas I trust myself to people thinking that they could never hurt me, in all of this Jesus trusted himself to people he knew would betray him. Jesus, who would endure the cross, knew that he must first endure the pain and suffering of betrayal from his own disciples.
Whereas I would never be able to forgive the one who betrayed me, Jesus’ forgiveness extended to all of humanity with his death on the cross, including Judas.
I believe in this way, Jesus models the attitude of forgiveness we are to have towards others in community. In our sin, we are seen as the “betrayals of God,” trusting in other idols in our lives, but it is Christ who died for us “while we were still sinners.” On his journey to the cross, Jesus was focused on the kingdom purpose of bringing salvation to humankind, instead of on the betrayal he not only received from Judas, but from the other disciples. Jesus humbled himself to a servant to save those who betrayed him. In this way, I am challenged to see that even Jesus can forgive what I deem as the ultimate offense to human relationships. I learn that forgiveness must extend past my feelings of offense or hurt, and on towards the understanding that salvation brings unity between the sinner and sinless, the betrayer and betrayed.
Diana Lee Shing joined the Pepperdine family in August 2011. Prior to Pepperdine, Diana was a pastoral intern at Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles where she helped foster the spiritual growth for the young adult community. She received her MDiv at Fuller Seminary. Diana also served on staff as a campus ministry intern at the University of Georgia where she grew a passion to work with college students and helping them grow in their faith journeys. She is most passionate about seeing people live out their lives with purpose and hope. She is married to her wonderful husband, Raymond.