Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Judas in us All

The Gospel readings the past few days have dealt with the person of Judas. Combine that with the just-released news of the ancient "Gospel of Judas" and one has to admit that Judas has been getting alot of press lately. The "Gospel of Judas" asserts that Jesus told Judas to turn him in. Whether or not that is true (and I am placing my bets on not true), Judas does play a major role in salvation history. While no doubt the Jewish leaders would have found some other way to capture Jesus and put him to death, thereby putting the gears in place for the Easter events, Judas did speed up that process. He committed the ultimate act of rejection of Jesus (the other Apostles would have their moments of rejection as well - think of Peter - "I do not know the man!" Admittedly these were on a smaller scale, motivated by fear rather than malice) and yet Jesus died to save all of us, including Judas. Judas was ultimately sorry for what he did - so sorry that he hung himself. If we believe that God forgives all who are truly sorry, then we must believe that God forgave Judas as well.

All of us reject Jesus at some point in our lives. We all have our Judas moments when we turn our back on the life Jesus wants us to live. We, too, help to hammer the nails into the cross. But Jesus died for us and He forgives us, even as he breathed his last human breath.

As we enter these holiest of days, let us remember our role in the crucifixion and just how much Jesus loves us. He loved us so much that he spread out his arms and died.

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