Above: Conscience, Judas oil on canvas by Nikolaj Ge (1831-1894)
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."
As reviled as he has been throughout the centuries, one wonders about Judas. Was he just acting out a role necessary to bring about the fulfillment of the Scriptures? We could ask the same question of Pilate, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin and even Peter, whose fear drives him to unconsciously betray Christ thrice in one evening.
If, as John says, Judas was entered by Satan, were his actions really his? When Judas realizes what he has done, overwhelmed with guilt, he hangs himself, his thirty pieces of unspent silver flung away like so much sand.
The extreme darkness that has entered Judas’ heart -- first doubt, then resentment, then evil, then regret, and finally despair – cries to each one of us, also a sinner, for compassion.
Judas did not live to partake personally of Christ’s Resurrection as the other apostles did, but do you believe the blood of Christ saved Judas, even so?
Is there any evil so dark the light of Christ cannot scatter?