Monday, 18 April 2011

Plotting

Judas agrees to betray Jesus
In the gospel accounts of the last days leading up to Jesus' crucifixion there are at least 2 stories of betrayal: Peter's and Judas Iscariot's. Simon Peter betrayed Jesus by denying him 3 times after Jesus' arrest.

Today I'm thinking about Judas - whose name has become a bi-word for betrayal.  Judas conspired with the religious authorities to hand Jesus over to them. They were plotting to kill Jesus. Did Judas know that? Or was he deceived into thinking he was protecting Jesus?

I would love to know more about what was in Judas' mind - what led him to do what he did. The gospels give us enough hints to build a variety of theories, which I won't discuss here. I wonder if he was an idealist who had come to feel betrayed by Jesus, because Jesus didn't conform to Judas' idea of how the Messiah should be?

Judas was one of 'the Twelve' - the inner circle of disciples hand-picked by Jesus. Judas was present at 'The Last Supper'. Jesus washed his feet as he washed those of the other disciples. He gave Judas with the others the bread and wine of the new covenant and then told them all "...see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table". Jesus didn't exclude Judas from that last meal with his friends, even though he knew what Judas planned to do. Now that is a thought to ponder.

"Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,
who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me."
Psalm 41: 9


This post is the 41st in a series of daily Lenten (including Holy Week) reflections based on a Bible reading from the Common Worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on Luke 22: 1-23.

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