Hope even for Judas

It’s Holy Week, and besides thinking about being able to eat chocolate again as soon as we start singing alleluia at the Easter Vigil, I also am thinking about Judas.

I actually always think about Judas this week: Judas, the enigmatic disciple who sets the whole crucifixion in motion, and then repents so deeply and so grievously that he throws away the blood money and completes suicide. And for it, he gets the place of honor in hell, at least according to Dante: front and center in Satan’s relentlessly ravenous mouth, in the ice cold darkest pit of hell.

But we know what Judas’ own eyes did not get to see: the death on the cross was not the end; the resurrection is coming. And, I firmly believe that if it comes for Jesus, it also comes for Judas. In fact, it seems to me that this is the whole point of the resurrection–either it comes for Judas, or it comes for none of us; either it comes for the worst of us, or it is no good to the best of us.

The resurrection is not a reward for believing, or a bonus for good behavior. Simply put, the resurrection is the undeniable, incontrovertible proof of God’s saving love for the entire cosmos; a love that refuses to let us go, a love that refuses to lose even one of us.

It’s proof of new life–for everyone. It’s proof of forgiveness and reconciliation–for everyone. And it’s proof of Christ’s solidarity and redemptive presence in the darkest moments of my life and yours–and everyone’s. Judas, too.

I don’t know what you have been through this year, but I do know that the resurrection is coming, and with it comes light in your darkness, life in the midst of death, and hope for the future: for you, for me, for the whole world–and most certainly for Judas.

And for this, I am so grateful, and I rejoice.

3 thoughts on “Hope even for Judas

  1. I don’t know about Judas. I do believe Christ’s death and resurrection was for us all, but I also believe that belief in Him as the true Son of God and the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world is the only way to salvation. So what about you- is Christ the only way, the only truth, and only life?

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    1. You are saying two different things, and I don’t think you quite appreciate the difference between saying Christ is the only way vs. a person’s belief in him is the only way. I appreciate the creative possibilities the former invites while, regarding the latter, I fully disagree that we have any power to save ourselves, including right belief.

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