Sunday, February 14, 2016

Passion Voices: Judas

I don't want it! Not any of it! I gave it back. I threw it into the temple, but it just keeps rattling and rolling and clang-clang-clanging on the tiles. Please make it stop!

A payment of thirty silver coins. But I don't want it.

I gave it back! 

Caiaphas and his cronies were only too anxious to pay me. All I had to do was to lead them to Jesus, just let them know which one he was. Easy money.

I think it started with that crazy woman. When we were eating at Simon's house, this woman comes right up to the table and puts ointment on his feet. Then she rubs it in with her hair. What a spectacle and what a waste! A year's wages. She could have fed the poor! She could have put it in our treasury, and I could have put it to some good use.

So tonight at the Seder, he gets down on his hands and knees and washes our feet. Our dirty, smelly feet! Is that any way for a king to act? He has the nerve to say that one of us will betray him. I think he's looking right at me. But when he dips the bread in the wine and hands it to me, I know what I have to do. I just suddenly know. It's like I've always known. I ran out of there in a hurry. I had to get some air.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God," he was so fond of saying. Talk, talk! "The kingdom of God is like a seed. It's like a pearl." Talk, talk, talk! "It's like a lump of yeast." Who cares about these cute little stories?

When we went marching into Jerusalem with shouts and waving palm branches, I thought this is it! This is when he's going to quit talking and start doing. I thought he would drive out the oppressors right then and there. I couldn't wait to see their fat Roman rumps running for their lives, leaving behind all their valuables. Ka-ching, ka-ching! Spoils of war.

You have to understand, I put my faith in him. I thought he came to save us. I thought he would be king. But he disappointed me. He disappointed us all. But I didn't mean for this to happen. He doesn't deserve what they're doing to him. I deserve it--all of it!

Are those bells ringing? No, it's just that sound that won't stop. Coins just rolling and clanging like metal pots over and over again. Make it stop! I just want to go back and start this day over again. I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Be quiet!

Oh, please, just make that noise stop. Make it stop!

Photo Credits:
    Denarius Serratus, by Wolfgang Meinhart
    The Kiss of Judas, anonymous painting of the 12th century
    Pottery, by Hartmann Linge
    Parable of Sower, by Sulfababy of
    African palm, by Artimari
    Christ Pantacrator, by Vmenkov
    Judas hangs himself, by Jean Fouquet

1 comment:

  1. I love this point of view. I think the story of Judas was meant to discourage betrayal but has since taken on a life of its own.