Et Tu Brute?

Nancy Hatcher, Guest writer, South Barrington | April 7, 2023

If an enemy were insulting me,

    I could endure it;

 if a foe were rising against me,

    I could hide.

But it is you, a man like myself,

    my companion, my close friend,

with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship

    at the house of God,

 as we walked about

    among the worshipers. 

Psalm 55: 12-14

Have you ever been betrayed by a close friend? 

In Shakespeare’s famous play, Julius Caesar looks at his friend Marcus Brute and says the famous line, “Et tu Brute?” Marcus had conspired with the other senators to assassinate his friend, the emperor.

Today is Good Friday, the saddest and happiest day of our calendar year. I read again the horrific gospel account of Jesus sweating drops of blood and pleading with God to take away what he would experience at the cross. I visualize the disciples sleeping while Jesus is alone. As I read about Judas, the evil betrayer, my blood boils as he kisses Jesus in the garden. And there’s also Peter, who adamantly denies knowing Jesus three times. Just as Jesus predicted he would. Anger brews and bubbles in my soul. 

The Psalmist in today’s passage tells of a sweet friendship built on trust, and then unexpectedly, there was a betrayal. Scholars refer to this as foreshadowing the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus just had supper and communion with his followers and washed their feet. Soon after that, came the betrayal and Jesus having to face his accusers.

How could they betray my friend Jesus?

Time-out. Wait a minute! Sometimes I’m so quick to judge. Have I ever betrayed a friend? Have I ever broken confidence? Have I ever intentionally smeared someone’s reputation? 

The answer is yes, yes, and yes—for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Sometimes there are little betrayals—little sins that I want to ignore. But I can’t just shove my sin in the bottom drawer of my dresser, so my outside self looks clean. I must look to God for help. I can ask for His forgiveness because Jesus died on that cross for me, on that miserable but very Good Friday. 

He is my friend that will never betray me. I will forever be grateful. 

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saves a wretch like me.” – John Newton, 1772

Next Steps 

  •  To ‘keep short accounts’ means confessing your sin often to God. Thank Him for His forgiveness, and ask the Holy Spirit’s help to not repeat the sin. What does this look like in your daily life?
  • Read about Jesus restoring Simon Peter for service after the Resurrection (John 21:15-17).