Yeshua prayed for us to be One in John 17; in John 18, He entered the Garden of Gethsemane with His disciples. John records the prayer for unity, while the other gospels record the Gethsemane prayer of “Not My will but Yours be done (Matthew 26:39).” Let’s put the two together.
The Gethsemane prayer of obedience unto death was the price that would be required in order to bring us into the oneness of John 17. After the Gethsemane prayer, Yeshua was arrested and led off to be crucified. On the cross, He paid the price for sinners to be saved, and for believers to be one. The cross is the price to make our “oneness with God” possible.
Forgiving Your Betrayer
As Yeshua was crucified on His cross, we too have to take up our cross daily to bring ourselves into unity. On the cross, Yeshua prayed this crucial prayer: “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they do” – (Luke 23:34). There are many different levels of forgiveness and many different types of people to forgive. But the most difficult situation to forgive is when someone close to you betrays you.
No one goes through life without feeling betrayed, or at least abandoned, by another person. Perhaps you were betrayed by someone who did it on purpose; or perhaps he did not realize what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t actually betray you, but the circumstances of life simply brought distance into what once was a close relationship, and so you feel betrayed. To whatever degree it was intended or perceived, it is still the most painful experience in life. Someone cannot betray you unless he has a level of intimacy with you. Intimacy demands vulnerability; betrayal touches that sensitive area of intimate vulnerability. That is why betrayal is so painful.
Yet this is the price of unity: to forgive those who have betrayed you. This is how we “carry our own cross.” The only way to reconciliation and unity is to forgive those who have hurt us. Each one of us has to do it within the sphere of his own life and relationships, whether in family, friendship or congregation.