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Stations of the Cross



Betrayal by Michael O'Donnell

Listen to the Audio version of Station 2

Jesus is betrayed by Judas

Mark 14:41-46

And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all left him and fled.

Text Reflection:

We enter the story in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent the night in fervent prayer. We are told that he suffered to the point of sweating drops of blood. His disciples fell asleep when he called them to prayer. Jesus interrupts their sleep a third time and declares the arrival of his betrayer.


As you read, notice everyone who betrayed Jesus and how Jesus responded.

Art reflection

Betrayal by Michael O'Donnell

As I meditated on the Scripture describing this event, it was the darkness, the stillness of the Garden that stood out the most. There was a haunted reality in the story. The whole event is covered in the supernatural, with the whole realm of the spirit world alert, active, and participating in ways that we aren't yet able to grasp. There were ghosts in the Garden, make no mistake. It's the ghosts of the story that haunt me at this moment, when Judas betrays with a kiss.


For the image itself, I wanted to portray the haunting, the dark of the Garden, the stillness in the early morning, hours before dawn. I wanted the isolation of the Betrayal to come through.


There is a glimmer of copper in the upper right, a mournful reminder of the pain of enduring hope. Ghostly figure-like impressions hide in a clearing toward the center at bottom. A waiting stance, now that things have been set in motion that cannot be undone.

  • What do you notice?

  • What thoughts or feelings does it stir?

  • What does this reveal to you about the passion of Jesus?

  • How does this image connect to your own suffering or the suffering of others?



What does this passage stir in you? Perhaps you have felt betrayed. Perhaps you have betrayed another.

Is there a wound of betrayal hidden somewhere in your heart? Talk to God about whatever is stirring now.



How would you respond to betrayal like this? Would you fight? Would you let your betrayer come close to you? Would you call - Where are you going? Cowards!

What did you notice about how Jesus responded to betrayal?


In what ways do the actions of Jesus call you to live your life differently?



Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy on me. I suffer the wounds of betrayal. I have betrayed. Forgive me. Thank you for your great compassion. Help me to receive your love and extend it toward others. Deliver us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable each of us to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(adapted from Book of Common Prayer)

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