How Much?

“And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard
and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus”

(Luke 22:4)

Lord, what was it that Judas was after? What was it that made him abuse and reject his privileged position as one of the Twelve and seek to sell You into darkness like this?

We know that he had his fingers in the money bags. But could it have been merely for more silver that he turned his back on You – and sought also to destroy that wonderful fellowship that you all enjoyed? Some have said that he was trying to stir You into starting a violent revolution – but could he have been so naïve after being with You for so long? And then when realisation dawned upon him he went and hanged himself – what an unspeakably tragic and desperate chain of events.

After reading Christ on Trial I remember thinking that only a priest could be chosen to play the role of Judas – for only a priest would understand the heights and the lows, the privilege and the pain, the blessings and the unspeakably black despair. I also wondered whether playing such a role might not destroy him or her in the process for they would have to face up to their own betrayals in ways they had not done before. But of course we are all part of that priesthood of all believers.

Have I betrayed You Lord? I’m sure that I must have. But then who am I to discern the real truth of it? I’m not sure that I want to let You loose to answer such a question for it might devastate me. And yet knowing the wonder of Your love as I do I realise that beside opening me to the pain it would also take me deeper into the wonder and glory of Your saving love.

That also makes me wonder Lord about this. If Judas had appeared at the foot of the cross and, clasping Your tortured feet, had wept out “Lord forgive me” – what would You have said to him? I like to think that I know the answer to that.

And as Peter would become a stronger and deeper person through having failed, and been forgiven and re-instated by You – so do we all if we allow it. ‘God works in all things’ – Lord work in me!