I appreciate the unimaginable magnanimity of Christ's love offered in the story of Judas. He offers the last supper to Judas, though he could have sent him off before the meal. But do we need this "reinterpretation" of Judas that disregards the most common reading, rips it out of its literary context, and is frankly uncreative?
I understand that there is the danger of making Judas a ruthless traitor, which he is not. The scripture is clear that he felt remorse afterwards. What is surprising is that the gospels are sparing in its portrayal of Judas. They don't just dash him in dark colors.
So there is much space for us reflect on the humanity of Judas, and our semblance to him, and Christ's endless offer of love for him. But depicting Judas as the one bold enough to do his part of the redemption story knowing how he will be vilified through the ages is a creative retelling, and not an interpretation. To make a virtue out of his weakness is as equally essentializing and unhelpful as making him a child of Satan. To build a religion on the line "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" where Judas's vice is brushed away is to ironically do the very opposite such religion intends, not a religion for faulty humans but a religion for the angels who can do no wrong.
Give me Judas with his calculating betrayal, his heavy remorse, and his rabbi offering redemption even to the final kiss; that is a religion for a man like me, one whose heart wavers.
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