30 pieces of silver

Easter is one of my favorite seasons. It’s the season of renewal and hope. It’s the season of fresh starts. It’s the season of blooms and bunnies and extraordinary beauty.

But before there was Easter, there was betrayal. Judas sold out for just 30 silver coins. Peter refused to admit he even knew Jesus, much less admit to being one of His disciples. The religious leaders made false accusations against Jesus and when that didn’t get rid of Him, they “stirred up the crowd” (Mark 15:11). You know how the story goes. The crowds who cheered praises when Jesus entered Jerusalem were screaming for His death just days later.

If you or your husband have been unjustly terminated, you may have a new perspective on the Easter story. The parallels between the events leading up to the crucifixion and the events leading to a minister’s termination can be striking. I could be wrong, but my guess is that at least one of the following happened before you were terminated:

  • One or more people in your congregation opposed your leadership and waited for the right moment to strike. (Note Matt. 26:3-4.)
  • Your opposition may have had hush-hush conversations in the church hallways or perhaps they held organized private meetings to plot your demise. Either way, the harm was done. (Check out Matt. 12:14.)
  • Your opposition “stirred up” others in your congregation. Phone calls, emails, text messages. You may have been unaware the stirring was happening until it was too late to undo the damage. (See Mark 15:11.)
  • Your words were taken out of context and used against you. (Take a look at Mark 14:55-59.)
  • People you’d considered your friends stood by quietly or slipped away altogether. (Read one of the saddest verses in the New Testament, the last sentence in Matt. 26:56.)

If you have been betrayed by the very people you’ve loved and served, know this: Jesus understands EXACTLY what you’ve been through. He understands what it’s like to be betrayed by those you called your friends. He remembers what it was like when He faced His accusers all alone because His friends had deserted Him. Think about it. For three years Jesus had traveled with, eaten with, laughed with and cried with 12 other guys. They’d been through the storms of life together. Literally. And yet when He needed them most, they disappeared.

If you’ve been unjustly terminated, you’ve been betrayed. But hold on, or better yet, allow the One who truly understands to hold on to you. Remember, the resurrection is just around the corner.

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