You too, Brutus?
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There is nothing much more difficult to endure than betrayal. However betrayal by a close friend or family member is even worse. Julius Caesar knew what this betrayal felt like. He was assassinated on March 15, 44 and among those who assassinated him was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar had trusted Brutus and even treated him as his own son. History holds that when the assassins came, Caesar began to struggle and resist, but when he saw Brutus among them with his knife pulled, he stopped resisting and just said, “You too Brutus?”
When Jesus came to earth, He did so for the benefit of man. Jesus lived and died so that we might have forgiveness of sins. Yet time and again throughout Jesus’ life He was betrayed by those who should have supported Him. Early on in His ministry when at His hometown Jesus was teaching in the synagogue. Yet the people rejected Him saying, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (Mark 6:1-6). In Luke 9:51-56 a Samaritan village rejected Jesus because he was a Jew headed to Jerusalem. The disciples wanted to rain fire from heaven and consume them, but Jesus rebuked them and went on to another village.
It is not too surprising that many people of the average population rejected Jesus. However rejection was not just among the average population. Jesus was also rejected by any of His disciples. John 6:66-69 records that many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him. I wonder if Jesus asked the question in His mind, “You too?”
Then as the time of crucifixion came near, Jesus was betrayed by one of the twelve apostles that should have been closest to Him. Judas betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver. I wonder if Jesus thought to Himself, “You too Judas?”.
As Jesus was facing the illegal trials that were leading to His crucifixion Peter stood by. Three times throughout the course of the night Peter was asked if he was a follower of Jesus and all three times Peter said, “I don’t know the man.” I wonder if Jesus thought in His heart, “You too, Peter?”
Jesus faced a lifetime of rejection and betrayal by those who He came to save. They didn’t see the sacrifice that He had made in leaving heaven to come to earth. They didn’t care for the fact that He was the only one who could make that perfect sacrifice. They didn’t realize that it was their own sins that put Him on the cross. While Jesus knew that this betrayal and rejection would happen, the human side of Jesus had to still hurt each time He was betrayed.
We often look back and wonder how people could treat our savior in such a way. How could they betray the one who was dying for them? Why weren’t they willing to go to the grave with Him? Why couldn’t they just be loyal? Yet then we look at our own lives with our mistakes, our sins, our betrayals. Each time we sin it crucifies Jesus afresh (Hebrews 6:4-6). Each time we fail Him I wonder if through our betrayal He is asking the question, “You too?”