What If Judas Had Lived?
Three weeks ago, I did a walk through Holy Week for the Sunday School kids.
In order to get it right, I had to sit down with all four Gospels next to each other. I’ve never looked at the Passion that way before. Having all four together helped me see some things I didn’t remember.
For instance, the naked dude in Mark.
But also, how in Luke 22, it says “Satan entered Judas”.
It was a Huh moment for me. I contemplated that—to be fair—Satan was going to be stronger than Judas since this was before Jesus died for our sins so…what is Judas’ culpability in the betrayal of Jesus?
Then I decided it was above my spiritual paygrade and moved on.
Until Easter Sunday when I sat down to watch Jesus Christ Superstar.
We don’t know much about Judas, other then he committed the nastiest betrayal of all time. We don’t know why he did it, other than those words from Luke. We can, and do, speculate that when the Gospels talk of an Apostle questioning Jesus especially in terms of money, acts of service and inclusion of Gentiles, that perhaps this is Judas beginning to feel that Jesus was not what he had said he was.
(See what I did there?)
This is Superstar’s interpretation for sure. Judas sings:
|Every time I look at you I don’t understand
Why you let the things you did get so out of hand
You’d have managed better if you’d had it planned –
One thing we absolutely know about Judas? He was human and let his fear outweigh his faith. I like the tidy Superstar presentation of Judas’ fears driving his disillusionment because I can relate to that. I’ve said before that given my personality, it would have been hard for me to follow Jesus in his day. Jesus’ ministry was on a “need to know” basis and I’m more a “know, then go” kind of gal. I think I would have been exhausted by all the mystery.
The question though is this: Would I have been converted by the Resurrection?
The answer—and I know this with every fiber of my heart—is yes.
Because Jesus kept his word. And that would have been enough for me to let go of what I didn’t understand, lay down my fears and never look back.
So I wonder—what would have happened if Judas had lived? Would his remorse have become conversion?
The greater point of course is this—there was a plan, the greatest plan of all. It had to play out and needed the benefit of hindsight before it made sense, but I think we can all agree the wait was worth it.
Judas couldn’t wait and missed it all. Maybe beyond the vilification of 2000 years—Dante was especially tough on the guy—that’s the real lesson we can learn from Judas.