There can be no doubt that betrayal in any facet of Life is an awesome thing to come to terms with.  For many it is the ultimate humiliation and for others it is a blow of such emotional depth that even after years the healing has never been completed and it becomes one of those issues that never enjoys closure. Its reality is complex and the reasons that govern the actual deed argumentative at best. It can never be condoned….no matter what the scenario….it can never be condoned.
As God conscious people we find ourselves at this time of the year where Betrayal and Sacrifice play a major role in the religious and historical events that depict the life of Jeshua of Nazareth. As Christ conscious people we confront once again the precepts of our Faith and the doctrines that govern it. Every person involved in the final hours of the Messiah will live forever in the history books.  For some the fame is of merit and for others a role played in shame and dishonor….others again were just too ignorant of the part he or she played to even understand what was happening and so the seriousness of it was lost to them.
I have my own theories concerning Judas Iscariot and others who did not understand the Essence of the Christ. For years I walked alongside these characters and studied with intent the role they played from mostly a historical point of view. I say historical because the doctrine of the Church can cloud one’s perceptions. It was and remains the greatest balm to my troubled soul. Josephus and his brilliant manuscript ‘The Antiquities of the Jews’ was a brilliant source of reference as was the commentary of Mathew Henry.  The research for each character filled volumes of pages.
Next week is the Easter Triduum wherein Christ conscious people once again affirm their faith in the Son of God. I stand at the edges of the community in which I live and watch and listen for the functions and services that will happen to bring parishioners into a closer experience of these events.  For just a little while people will be subdued enough to be tolerant of each other. The solemnity of the days will ensure quiet surrender of each other to the others faults….but once the pace of life picks up and the days acquire their frantic and rhythmic flow there will be no evidence of this ‘tolerance’. How very tenuous the ‘Christians’ are.
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Judas

Despite what the ancient writings say
I loved Him with all my heart
even though I betrayed Him to Caiaphas
to let the inquisition start.
Thirty pieces of silver
was all it took to condemn us both
Only, he was elevated in the world of men
while I stumbled in sin’s undergrowth.

What was it about his person
that drew me to his side?
What was it about his speaking
my own philosophies to deride?
What was it about his actions
that I never could understand?
What was it about his ‘kingship’
that ruled with Love to heal our broken land?

I’m suppose I never once doubted
that He was the Messiah, the Chosen One
even though it was his ministry
that caused me to falter,
wondering if for our Zealots cause 
a place of leadership he had won.
Was He the man we had been waiting for
to free us from our yoke?
Was He the saviour,the light, the power
that would seize Rome at its throat?
How long did we have to wait like this
in servitude and chains?
How long did we have to listen
to prophets speaking of a future king
and his glorious reign?

How closely I lived with Him
in the years before his last days
How well I learned to understand every gesture
and the meaning of his many ways.
People in the world would think
He had no tears, or joy or pain,
but in the evening as night fell, darkening a purple sky,
a little distance from us he would sit,
his body broken with exhaustion
and I would ask myself “Jeshua…why?”

Do you know when I loved Him most, 
this Jeshua Son of Man?
It was in the Temple
when he cleared the merchants
with one sweep of His hand
How powerful was his anger
as though for all of Israel
how condemning were his words
like an overflowing well.

What hope we had, Barrabas and I,
that at last He knew his future plans
and every Zealots heart leapt
as we pledged allegiance with joined hands.

But Jeshua did not hear
our battlecry more desperate than before
and that is why our hopes and dreams
lie with thirty pieces of silver 
spilt and scattered on the Temple floor.

And now He stands, condemned and broken
His face bruised with blood
and the Truth of His life wells up within me
like a mighty over-riding flood
What good does it do now?….
I tried to save the Son of Man
but Caiaphas would not listen
I was just a pawn in the whole Sanhedrin’s plan.

No amount of writing
can know and express my remorse
No learned man can speak for me
the bitterness from my deepest source
No place on this earth is big enough
wherein I could hide my guilt and shame.
And now I know that this misguided action
driven and fanned by the political flame
would immortalise me in the annals of history
as the betrayer
Judas Iscariot by name.

The sky above me darkens
and the wind begins to moan
I run through the streets of Jerusalem
not knowing where is my father’s home.
Is there not a person to grasp and hold
and stay my desperate speed?
Barrabas,my friend, where are you?
it’s your assurances I need.

But the streets are deserted and I am a desolate man
Death is the only course left for the 
instigator of this…
the most despicable of plans.

Will the Master forgive me
when He sees the Light?
Will my God judge me
and set my soul to right?
Will you, who read the ancient writings
shake your head
and muttering, have many words to say?
But I tell you beloved reader
that it is your daily life
the Son of Man you betray.

From book The Chosen Ones by Rhona Renz. The final two verses of this poem was also in  the International poets
Competition as a finalist. The photo above is of Ian Mc Shane as Judas in the film Jesus of Nazareth.

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