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The gospel of Judas

There was a bit of a flurry around the release of “The Gospel of Judas” today. It is an old Gnostic text that supposedly sheds light on history’s most infamous traitor. According to the new text, Jesus told Judas to hand Him over to the Romans, and Jesus considered Judas His closest disciple.

I don’t really know one way or the other how much to believe in all of this, but I do know one thing, Judas has been one of the most misunderstood, and yes, unappreciated characters in history. Every Christian sect depends on prophets from the Old Testament to lend legitimacy to the concept of Jesus as Christ. Many of these prophecies talk of a perfect sacrifice, a true passover, the lamb of God, etc. If Jesus was Christ, he was ordained to die. Which Christian denomination would be the same if Christ was not crucified and resurrected? What would Christianity be? If you believe that Christ was sacrificed for the sins of all mankind, if you believe that He was the culmination of Old Testament prophecies, and if you believe that without His grace you would burn in hell forever, then surely you must believe that His death was necessary. It is clear to me that the participants in Jesus’ capture, torture, and crucifixion had no choice. When people “blame” the Jews, Caiphus, Pilate, Annas, and Judas for Jesus’ death, what exactly are they blaming them of? It seems strange to me to “blame” someone for the salvation of all mankind, but this is exactly what happens when these names are brought up. Judas (and Jew) haters routinely point to Jesus’ death as justification for their hatred. They love Jesus, so they hate the ones that betrayed and killed Him. Why do they Love Jesus? Because He died for them…

I say give Judas a break, he was a participant in a very complex drama, one that had an ulterior objective that he couldn’t hope to understand at the time. It is my belief that all of these people (and that’s all they were) did what they thought was best at the time. There’s a good lesson in there somewhere…

Isaac

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