Being Judas

Picture of me, holding a sign saying "I am Judas"

This Easter I’ve been acting in the St Tim’s Passion Play. For those of you not familiar with the concept, it’s a reenactment of the biblical account of Jesus living, dying and resurrecting.

I was cast as Judas. This, of course, was treated with a great deal of humour from, well, everyone who knows me. There were cries of “type-casting!”, and I rather enjoyed pointing out that last time I was in a passion play, my role was “Second Demon”, so this was a promotion, of sorts.

And so the preparation began: there were lines to be learnt and countless rehearsals to attend. My wife bought a costume for me (by ransaking the bottom shelves of the least appealing charity shop in our high street). Jokes were made during practices – my favourite being Jesus getting everyone to flamboyantly clap, hands above head, during the buildup to the crucifixion.

Slowly, piece by piece, a sincere production was put together. Yet in the midst of it all, I rather failed to consider if there might be any deeper meaning to my role.

Soon enough, Good Friday was on us, our first performance begun, and, to a packed church, the birth and life of Jesus unfolding. I turned up, changed into my authentic 2,000 year old clothes, then waited behind the stage for my part. My only concern was the recollection of my lines, no deeper thought running through my head.

Then, my first scene came “Disciples chatting about Jesus”. Improvisation of some bible verses aside, this went well, and I moved onto “The Last Supper”, which played out without a hitch.

My final scene was an easy one – no speaking part; simply walk on with some soldiers, hug, kiss (and ultimately, betray) Jesus, then off again on stage left.

Our cue came, and on we marched. I hesitantly walked up to Jesus; crying, loving Jesus, who embraced me wholeheartedly. Then I kissed his cheek, his tears on my lips, and it hit me:

I am Judas.

Suddenly everything moved so fast. I stumbled back, and the soldiers swooped in. I walked off stage hesitantly, and stood behind the curtain, watching on as my Lord was thrown around, beaten, whipped and murdered. I weeped for a few moments, because it became very clear:

I am Judas.

Sure, my name is Chris, and I’ve never been near Nazareth, but the point remains: for me alone, Jesus would gladly have suffered the cross.

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)

So, remember: don’t resent Judas, he is a reflection of all of us. We are Judas. Over the next two days, try to reflect on that, because it really is at the heart of Good Friday. And it will make Easter all the sweeter!

9 thoughts on “Being Judas

  1. Beautifully written and very true. I’m Judas too (but for the sake of the play, will play my usual part this afternoon).

    1. Thanks man, you’ve been an inspiring Jesus. Plus you look great with your top off… #thingsyoushouldntsayaboutJesus

  2. Very good. However unlike Judas we can come to God and ask for forgiveness. The tragedy about Judas was that he felt unable to do this and that he killed himself before the resurrection when he would have begun to understand that Jesus was meant to die and that he was part of making that happen.

    Mum xx

    1. Very true. That’s what tomorrow (Easter Sunday) is all about – He is risen, redemption is here! Interestingly, the very end of our passion play was the story of Saul – there’s a big bit of Saul in us all too, and its his forgiveness and total life change that gives us that hope.

  3. @claerchi retweeted @bigonroad:

    Thought you might like my post on “Being Judas”. Read it @ allaboutchris.org/blog/2012/bein… @jonacuff @justinholcomb @bobbygilles @wclittle #happyeaster

    1. I believe so. In a very real way, we all attempted to hunt down John McClane before being kicked out of the 30th story of an LA skyscraper…

  4. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the email and for sharing your blog post as well – just read it and it is really inspirational and challenging stuff – definitely a thing to be reminded about again and again, especially when we get a little bit too self-righteous with those around us who are evidently caught in sin and start to forget the pungent odour we give off so often and the journey we have made

    so thanks for the reminder
    strength in Him
    love brett “fish”

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