Judas and Jesus: It’s Complicated


I’ve been getting a lot of hits lately on an old post called “The Prodigal Son, As Played By Judas.” I guess during Holy Week, people tend to Google “Judas” more? Anyway, I came across this moving passage from my fave, Frederick Buechner, in his book The Faces of Jesus (I highly recommend it–Robert is reading it for the second time now!). And if you haven’t read my other post about Judas (and his possible redemption), you can do so here.

The soldiers are there with their swords and lanterns. The high priest’s slave is whimpering over his wounded ear. There can be no doubt in Jesus’ mind what the kiss of Judas means, but it is Judas that he is blessing, and Judas that he is prepared to go out and die for now. Judas is only the first in a procession of betrayers two thousand years long. If Jesus were to exclude him from his love and forgiveness, to one degree or another he would have to exclude mankind.

Maybe this is all in the mind of Jesus as he stands there with his eyes closed, or possibly there is nothing in his mind at all. As he feels his friend’s lips graze his cheek, for an instant maybe he feels nothing else. It is another of his last times. On this last evening of his life he has eaten his last meal, and this is the last time that he will ever feel the touch of another human being except in torment. It is not the Lamb of God and his butcher who meet here, but two old friends embracing in a garden because they both of them know that they will never see one another again.

–Frederick Buechner
The Faces of Jesus


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