Betrayed, With Love - by Robert Baril
Judas was never very good at telling jokes. Peter was pretty good. Paul wasn't bad. John could put you on the floor with his Methuselah impression. It seemed that almost all of the other disciples had a good sense of humor except Judas.
In an effort to prove to the world that he did possess a good sense of humor, when he sat down to write his gospel one evening, he decided to open with a joke. "The Gospel of Judas, Chapter One: Verse One. Two Pharisees walk into a manger." Before he could get to the punch-line, he felt a hand on the back of his shoulder. As he looked back, he saw the face of his lord and savior.
"Hello, my Lord."
"What are you writing?"
Judas turned back and looked down at the parchment. "I am starting to write my gospel. I will tell the world of your great kindness and love."
Jesus smiled. "I am blessed to have you as my disciple, Judas. You are truly a wonderful man. If you want, you can quote me."
Judas chuckled at the Messiah's quip. As funny as some of the other disciples could be, Jesus was always funnier. Judas didn't know why the other guys had chosen to leave out all of the funny stuff Jesus had said and done when they wrote their gospels. Obviously his parables, teachings, and philosophy are all very powerful and capable of spreading the gift of eternal life; however, it would be nice to show off a little bit of the Prince of Peace's inner joker. It was at that moment that Judas decided to write about how funny Jesus was.
"Good one, Jesus," Judas said as he picked up his writing tool. "Not only are you a righteous man, but you are also very funny."
Jesus nodded. "Most Jews are."
Judas started writing again. "I am so grateful that you have allowed me to follow you, my Lord. I love you with all my soul, and, no matter what happens after I die, the thing I would like to be remembered for most is my dedication to you, your Highness."
Jesus took a deep breath and looked up at the ceiling. "We need to talk."
Judas stopped writing and turned back to God's only son. "What is it, my Lord? I would do anything for you."
"That's why I'm counting on you, Judas."
Jesus grabbed a stool and sat beside his curious follower. "I know you love me very much, and I love you right back. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to test the love you have for me."
- Judas wasn't quite sure what his master was getting at. He decided to take a shot in the dark. "Do you want me to give up meat on Fridays?"
Jesus raised an eyebrow. "No. That seems kind of random and overall irrelevant. No, I need you to do something more important."
Jesus put his hand on Judas's knee and looked him in the eyes. "I want you to betray me. It is important that I die, so that I may rise from the grave and prove to the world that I am the son of God."
After a long, awkward pause, Judas finally spoke. "Why have you asked me to do this, my Lord? I cannot be responsible for your death. Do you really have to die?"
"Yes," Jesus replied. "I'm not too thrilled about it either, but it's something I have to do. Besides, the phrase 'Jesus lived for my sins' doesn't really pack the same punch."
Judas nodded. He knew better than to question Jesus' judgment. "Of course, you're right, my Lord." Judas shook his head. "I know it's something you have to do, but it just doesn't seem right. That's all. Then again, we've been having this whole conversation in English, so I guess anything goes."
Jesus leaned in and spoke softly. "I chose you to be the one to betray becaus I love you very much and because
I know I can trust you. I must make the sacrifice of my life for all of mankind, and I am asking you to sacrifice your name to make it happen. I couldn't ask somebody to do that if I didn't know they loved me unconditionally. I know you love me enough to make the sacrifice."
Judas began to weep. When the tears began to disappear, he swallowed hard and asked Jesus, "How will I do it?"
"You will kiss me."
Jesus took Judas's wide-eyed look to mean that some further explanation would be necessary. He decided not to go into detail, though. "In order for the Roman soldiers to know who I am, you will kiss me."
Judas looked down at the floor, then back up at the man he would help make immortal. "I'll do it."
Jesus kissed Judas on the forehead and slowly made his way to the exit. Before he could leave, he heard Judas call out to him.
"What is it, my friend?"
Judas stood up and walked over to Jesus. "I was wondering if I maybe could write about this in my gospel. I know everyone will think that I am the betrayer, but if they read my gospel they will see what really happened and know the truth."
Jesus thought about it for a second. "Sure."
Judas's smile spread across his whole face and he clasped his savior in a mighty, jovial embrace. When he was done, he put his hand on Jesus' shoulder. "Do you think people will take my gospel seriously, Lord?"