Saturday, April 07, 2012

'There's a bit of Judas in all us'

Hands down, Judas is the most hated character in the whole passion episode that saw the crucifixion of Jesus.
How everyone, probably from the time of the Lord up to contemporary times, points at him as the cause of Jesus's death. And they might add to say that he deserves to be in hell, where his soul is assumed to be now.
I was on the same belief. Until this Holy Wednesday. A priest sermoned that while Judas could have fallen down the pits, he could have as well obtained the Lord's mercy and could be in His company right now.
This is to say that the most despised, most judged disciple was not an unfortunate case at all. This Good Friday, a bishop explained on a television program that Judas also loved the Lord. In the Gospel of Mark, the fallen follower instructed the guards to arrest Jesus with care. In the Gospel of Luke, the evangelist wrote about Satan "entering" Judas, perhaps to make a point that the latter was not acting on his behalf. He was a "victim of circumstance."
Going back to the Holy Wednesday sermon, the priest said Judas could have obtained pardon before the rope snapped the life out of him. The Gospel of Mark seems to lend credence to the belief that although Judas betrayed the Lord, it was not for the 30 pieces of silver. The loot has nothing to do with what is thought to be the disgraced disciple's intention - to incite the Jews to rebellion by making the Romans arrest Jesus. But the Jews did not rally behind Jesus to end the Roman rule. Instead, the Lord was condemned to death in a manner and timeframe that even Judas did not expect. So distraught was he of the turn of events that he committed suicide.
Now, when we look at the cross, we only look at Judas as the cause of all these. It was not him, but all of us, because we all have sinned. Jesus accepted that death for each of us.
We point at Judas because that's what we always do - accuse others and forget that we are at fault, too. In looking at Judas, we are actually looking at our own selves.
"There's a bit of Judas in all of us," the Good Friday bishop said. If it's possible that Jesus could have forgiven Judas at such short notice - as He did more explicitly with that criminal on the cross with Him, even more so with each of us who have much more time to reform. Jesus just knew He needed to save Judas, and all the Judases after him. Proactively, He moved way, way ahead and took those painful steps all the way to a shameful death on the cross.

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