A thought on Judas Iscariot

It has always irked me that Judas Iscariot, this lovely man and truthful follower of the master, was painted into the awful corner of becoming a vile traitor. Of all people, he, who loved their teacher as much if not more than any of the other disciples, gets the chop.

I also find it difficult to understand how this loving master could so cruelly assign the task of betrayal to one who loved him and never would have wished him any harm. What kind of contorted depth psychology must that involve! Or was and is it a matter of structurality. A plan, a way laid out that had to be executed accordingly?!

The arguments are many for not condemning Judas for the role he is playing in the unfolding of the plot. But Jesus himself, did he not have any scruples about pointing Judas out as the one to fulfill the role of traitor? Is there any condemnation of Jesus for assigning his own destructor? Who then is condemned by the story! Tough luck, Judas – hang yourself.

Pietro Lorenzetti (or Pietro Laurati) c. 1280-1348, Death of Judas (1320-1330)

I think Jesus, the master, the teacher, at this point, is so fully aware of the awful logic of the deconstructive unfolding of his story that he turns cynic: yes, you my dearest who so utterly loves me, you will betray me; yes, you who so utterly swears by me will deny me, yes, and you all, who so obediently follow me, will not even keep awake for an hour to be with me. And he goes on to say: And you, father, you too have utterly forsaken me.

There is, in my understanding, no way not to understand the utter desolation this man Jesus experiences. All mystique, all mysteriousness, all anticipated and witnessed holiness has fallen away. He has become a common man like you and me. And those around him do not grasp that change.

And while he is praying in solitude trying to understand his own situation, the plot unfolds without any interference from some kind of higher force. And there the authorities approach; and there the man is with his kiss to officially identify the person who is to be apprehended, according to the plan; and there the process predicted long ago, now progresses into its final phase; and all those involved in it are spun around not knowing what … is happening to them.

The incarceration, the inquisition, the condemnation to death, the path to the place of execution, the execution and death itself – all that is happening to a human being like you and me.

And then Easter – in what other way can the resurrection of life out of utter death and desolation be understood if it had not happend to a man like you and me?!


Easter Blessings from
Walter & Colleen

Betty’s Bay, Saturday, April 16th, 2011

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