Thursday, 17 April 2014

I am Judas

A meditation on Maundy Thursday.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I walk behind him in the parade as people shout praises and wave palm branches. I help organise the passover meal. I sit and remember the traditions of my people, and the way that Jesus has transformed them.

I am Peter. I refuse Jesus' offer to serve me by washing my feet, and then demand that he demean himself more by washing me all over. I don't understand what Jesus is doing. I've never really understood, but I still follow him

I am Judas. I share the cup with Jesus. I dip the bread with him. When he tells me to go quickly and do what must be done, I go. I take the thirty pieces of silver. I wait for the Pharisees to gather enough armed men to arrest Jesus.

I am a disciple of Jesus. When the meal is finished, I sing with Jesus. We go out into the night. Jesus tells us that we will desert him, that we will flee for our lives. But still, he takes us to a garden to pray. I cannot stay awake with him. He prays so earnestly. He prays more than I do.

I awaken to hear Jesus talking about men with clubs. There is a fight. Swords clash. I see Jesus heal his attacker.

I am Judas. I kiss my teacher on the cheek. He calls me his friend. We both know where he is going. I am the one who handed him over. I led his enemies to him in the darkness. He calls me his friend.

I am a disciple. I flee naked from the soldiers. I cannot even stand with my master when our enemies come with swords.

I watch them take Jesus away, hoping that they will only flog him, hoping that he will be spared the cross he always spoke about.

I am Peter. I deny Jesus once. I deny Jesus twice. I deny Jesus thrice. I am embarrassed of Jesus, and then embarrassed of myself.

I am a disciple, even today. I am all these disciples. I sing and pray and eat with Jesus. I demand from Jesus. I don't understand Jesus. I hand Jesus over to his enemies. I run away when trouble comes. In the darkest night, I abandon Jesus and pray that one day he will take me back as his disciple.

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