John 3: 1-10; 7: 45-52; 19: 38-20: 1
I am always known as the one who met him at night.
I am not making excuses but it was just better that way.
I was too well-known in Jerusalem.
If it was known I had met Jesus I would have lost my reputation.
I was known for my caution.
I did not take sides.
Jesus gave me a problem.
He created division.
He polarised opinion.
He made it difficult for others;
especially people like me.
I tried to be a voice of calm
In stormy times;
but it was not easy.
Mark 15: 33-39
Do not put thoughts into my head which are not there.
I am no Christian.
I am not about to go off and become one of his followers.
As far as I am concerned his death was impressive;
you might even say unusual.
But whatever a Christian may mean by ‘God’s son’
all I am saying is he died like a child snuggling in his mother’s arms –
and that you don’t see when death by crucifixion gets to work.
I could hear what he was saying in between the gabbling of his tormentors.
They are bunch of idiots.
You couldn’t tell whether they were for him or against him.
It was almost as if they wanted to worship him.
But they weren’t listening.
They were too busy making their own noise to hear him.
It was the thud of nail through flesh
that convinced me there was no coming back for him.
It was the horror in his cries of pain
that convinced me that God would not descend to his holy mountain that day.
What Jesus had done for me would not be given to him.
For a while it was the occasion we expected.
It became an experience that I will not forget.
The Passover meal was all but over
when suddenly he said one of those
surprising things that we never saw coming.
‘One of you will betray me’!
It was like a knife to the heart.
Capture – yes.
Torture – yes.
Mockery – yes.
Murder – quite possibly.
But not betrayal, not by one of us.
And then I was involved in more than I wanted.
Over the last week I’ve been posting a series of reflections which seek to describe a possible response of some of the people who were intimately involved in the 24 hours before the death of Jesus. I first performed them as part of a Good Friday Service at Bath Abbey.
Each reflection is accompanied by suggestions for scripture reading and prayer.
You can catch up on the stories so far here:
Judas Iscariot, Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Barabbas and Simon of Cyrene
The conversations have also been published in The Baptist Times.
Still to come …
The Nameless Lover, Mary Magdalene, The Centurion, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus.
My family told me they could see something had happened.
All they needed to do was look at my face.
The boys told me later in life they were terrified.
I looked like I had stared into the pit of hell.
It wasn’t what they were expecting.
My wife had been preparing for the Sabbath.
She had expected me home early.
This was going to be a special time,
more special than usual;
we were not only back in Israel from years of exile,
but celebrating a Sabbath in Passover
and what’s more
within sight and sound of the sacrifices
Well that’s a turn up for the book.
A walk in the hills of Judea not a stagger to a cross.
But why me?
I know my people – full of talk and protest
but when it comes to it, do they do anything?
Of course not.
It takes the likes of me to actually do something.
You can’t just talk about the Romans behind closed doors.
That gets you nowhere.
I find it mildly interesting that
although people still question whether Jesus
existed or not –
my existence is never questioned!
This also puzzles me since he and I have been linked
like brothers in the womb
since just a few decades after our deaths.
As your creed declares:
He was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
He suffered death and was buried –
As for the rest of your beliefs?
They are beyond me and lot of other people I believe.
John 11: 47-50, Matthew 26:57-68
We managed to get most of the Council to the emergency meeting.
NO! Let this be clear; be under no illusion
THIS WAS AN EMERGENCY.
I had seen it coming for while.
The others were too full of excitement at the approach of the festival.
When you are in my position – you can’t get too drawn into all the singing
A high priest has to see to more than what’s going in the Temple.
Jesus was a dangerous man.
What Jesus could make happen was not going to happen on my watch,
As my father Annas had warned me:
Caiaphas, watch out for trouble from the north.
They have always troubled us Judeans. They will not accept the status quo.
You see, he knew what Galileans were like.
And what is more to the point – the Romans knew this too!
Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16, 47-50; 27:1-5
The view is beautiful from here.
It is so quiet.
It is a place of still waters –
I wish all my fields could be such a heaven on earth.
But it has become the valley of the shadow of death
And this place will see the death of me.
I am Judas Iscariot – the one who betrayed Jesus.