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Seeing Jesus in Psalm 41 - Betrayal

Seeing Jesus in Psalm 41 – Betrayal


Psalm 41:9 – “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.


Betrayal is a strong word and it causes all sorts of strong feelings in the person who is betrayed.  It leaves a sickening feeling in its wake.  Being betrayed is horrific especially if you are betrayed by a close friend.  David in Psalm 41 says he has been betrayed, and not just betrayed but betrayed by a close friend.  A friend that he ate bread with, a friend who lifted up his heel against David.  Betrayal hurts and David here shares his hurt and his pain.


His friend has lifted up his heel against him.  Others have rejoiced in his pain saying, “when will he die.”  They whisper about him and imagine how wonderful it would be for him to meet an untimely end.  David’s words here remind us that humanity is sinful and because of that sometimes people crave seeing other people miserable or worse.


David’s words not only remind us of the depth of sin and the reality of evil but they also point forward to the person of Jesus Christ.  Even more specifically they point to His torture, His trial, and His crucifixion.  David had enemies who spoke malice about him.  He had enemies who wanted him dead, Jesus even more so.  David had people who hated him, Jesus even more so. 


David’s words are extremely personal as he talks about being betrayed by a friend who he had ate bread with, yet even though they are personal they too point forward to Jesus.  For He too was betrayed by a friend, and not just a friend but a friend that He ate bread with.  Even more specifically by a friend that He ate with when He instituted the last supper, telling His disciples, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you.”  The betrayal that Jesus experienced that night set in motion His crucifixion, He knew it was coming after that meal yet He still said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this with you.” 


Then He was betrayed and that betrayal led Him to trial, to be tortured and to be crucified.  So why would He “eagerly desire” that?  Simply put because He knew in doing it He was doing the Father’s will and accomplishing salvation for all who believe.  He knew that even though it would be excruciating, and even though it would be horrific, that the Father would accomplish His plan through it and that He would be glorified.  Because of that Jesus willingly went to the cross, He willingly endured the betrayal, the horror, the shame, and the crucifixion so that the Father would be glorified and so that we would be saved. 


Thankfully that wasn’t the end of the story.  David goes on to say in Psalm 41:11, “by this I know that you delight in me; my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.”  There were shouts of perverse joy and gladness the day that Jesus was crucified, but the enemy did not have the last word.  God the Father vindicated His son by raising Him up from the dead, triumphant over betrayal, over crucifixion, over sin, over death, and over hell.  Now Jesus is alive! “Set forever in the presence (of God the Father) (v.12)”, making intercession for us, preparing a place for us, and walking through this world with us.  Promising to never leave us or forsake us, promising to be with us forever.  Even if we struggle, even if life comes crashing in, even if our friends desert us, even if we are betrayed.  If we are His child, He will always be with us, To God be the glory!