Footsteps of Jesus 09

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Jesus Falls the Third time

John 13:26b-27

As Seen By Judas Iscariot 

What was it that drove me to this? Was it vainglory? Was it arrogant assumption that I knew it all, could control it all? I thought I was possessed by God who gave me insight! How could I have been so wrong?

All I wanted for him was to succeed! Was that such a bad thing? He had all the makings of a great leader, and all of us believed he was the Messiah.

But then he started talking about his kingdom being not of this world, and saving us, not as we wanted and needed, from the oppression of the Romans in our midst, but from our inner life of sin and alienation from God. What sort of Messiah was that I ask you?

Indeed, I did believe that he was God’s chosen one, and I still believed that when I went to the priests and offered to betray him. I didn’t want the money, of course I didn’t! All I wanted was for him to rise up. He was wrong about his role, and I was right –that was all there was to it, and if I had to push his hand, well, that was what followers were for wasn’t it? I watch the procession, seeing the hated Romans push him uphill to his death, and I almost despair. But then he falls and I am standing close by, and a grasp at the chance to urge him on, this one last opportunity for him to see it my way.

I fall down beside him, my face close enough to feel his warm breath on my cheeks. “Jesus,” I whisper, “it’s not too late. I know you are Messiah, and you can call down ten thousand angels to save you, and set you up as king. Do it!! Be our Saviour!! This world needs you to see it my way, to do it my way, to be the Messiah we all expected! Can’t you see? As he opens his eyes, I see the same grief and compassion he had when we shared the meal the night before. I quake as a whispered doubt comes in my mind. I know he is Messiah, and what if his way, was after all the way God planned? What if I am wrong?

I cringe and hide, from the others or from myself, I do not know. I have a premonition of impending disaster. I know now - uncanny how I couldn’t see it before – that he was right and I was wrong. As I spent time thinking of war and dreaming of victory for us Jews, he spent time in ever deepening communion with his “Abba Father”.

What was it that drove me to this? Not God, but unadulterated evil, I know that now.

There is nothing left for me to live for. Nothing left for me to hope for. I have betrayed the chosen one of God, betrayed him with a kiss, and he goes to his death because of me, and I cannot live with the shame.

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