I read an interesting article on CNN the other day by Craig Gross. For those who aren't familiar with Craig, he's a pastor and founder of xxxchurch.com, which helps fight porn addiction. The article he wrote was entitled "Is Judas In Hell?" , and you can read it here: http://www.cnn.com/2...esus/index.html.

In a nutshell, he acknowledges that Judas made a big, big mistake. As did Thomas. But, he skates the question for a larger dialog about what is important to focus on this Easter, which is that "we all fall short and deserve death....", and of course JESUS! Now, I can't leave the main question alone because I think the wrong question is being asked. I differ with Craig's article in that he seems to be agreeing with the rest of Christendom that Judas made a huge mistake. We need to decide if Judas actually did something wrong.

Is Judas a sinner, saint, or catalyst?

It seems to me, from a mythological stand point, that Judas' actions were necessary for Christ to ultimately intercede on man's behalf. Up until Jesus' execution, the ministry was struggling. Sure, there was a following. Many had started to become interested in Christ's ministry of eternal reward, compassion, and forgiveness, but it wasn't gaining much political momentum.

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The Sadducee were crawling up Rome's ass more and more every year. The Pharisees didn't think the inflexible interpretation of the religious laws, and subsequent application, were fair. There was an ever growing rift between the two political factions, and Rome sat back and took advantage. Meanwhile, Christ is inspiring hope, but he has to be careful where he is performing at. How many times have we read him getting scrutinized by the clerics? Too many to count!

This prophet didn't pick the outskirts of villages because he needed a large venue. He didn't go blend in with the Egyptians because he liked the food. No, he didn't have a strong enough momentum to influence the political war that was brewing within Jerusalem. His meddling more of an annoyance, and borderline heretical. Christ had no teeth. He was another of many self proclaimed prophets of his time. So how do you propel yourself to the top of the dog pile in those days? Martyrdom. This is the classic go to plot twist of any good lore. Politics, drama, intrigue, and death.

Osiris was betrayed by his brother Seth.
Zeus was betrayed by his former comrade Prometheus.
Vibhishana was betrayed by his half brother Ravana.
Thor was betrayed by his brother Loki.
And Jesus was betrayed by his apostle Judas.

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Without the needed climax, what would have happened to Jesus ministry? Would Jesus still have drawn the crowds on his own at age eighty? Or would miracles eventually be all he was remembered for? Jesus was not much more than another Simon of Peraea before Judas came along and stirred things up with the Sandhedrin and Rome. Granted, Jesus did cause some notable scenes at the temples, but he didn't burn them down. He certainly didn't want to lead an uprising. Jesus was a hands off kind of boss. He would give a great show and expected followers to somehow become cohesive and effect a social change among the different classes of Hebrews. Jesus sought unification, and to do that requires more than just creative interpretations of the same old message.

He knew this, and that is why he later made vague announcements about his death, not just at the Last Supper, but several times during the year prior. Check out Matthew 17 and Matthew 20. On top of it all, not all of his apostles were okay with his miracle working (walking on water scared some shitless). Not all were comfortable with his associating with the ill repudiated (whore and perfume). And not all were even sure he fit the description of the predicted Messiah (Judas' betrayal).

Jesus was a walking contradiction, and Judas was the key to the final sell.

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But I'm not playing fair here. If I have to answer the question: "Is Judas in Heaven or Hell?" I would posit he is in Heaven. He certainly was remorseful, after all, he did try to return the silver. And he never blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Never do you see any sign Judas absolutely doesn't believe, in fact, his actions could be interpreted as out of his control seeing how as Jesus handed him the dipped bread, Satan entered Judas and then he went and betrayed him. Judas had a lot riding on this rabbi, and at this point of the biblical tale, Jesus has had to watch out for being arrested, thrown out of towns and so on. The man would not step up to the plate and really lead. John the Baptist wanted to lead, and Judas was originally following John, so his appetite was wet with change.

So, nothing Judas did was unforgivable. Only outright blaspheming the Holy Spirit gets you unforgivable doom. Judas didn't do that. Yes, he ratted out the hidden location of Jesus. Yes, he initially accepted blood money. Yes, he committed suicide, was stoned to death, or was crushed by a chariot (you decide which). His remorse is of little doubt though, in my opinion. And because of that, I would say Judas is in Heaven, if a location must be picked.

Whether his betrayal should be considered a sin or not truly means nothing. Without Judas and his classic story book behavior, Jesus would have faded into the annals of supposed history and be no more appreciated than all the other random philosophers of his time. Judas was certainly no sinner in my book. He made no mistakes in my view either. He made Jesus put up or shut up.

He was a catalyst.



***Want to read more? Check out my short compilation with an additional nine new essays not published anywhere else. http://www.amazon.co...dge of survival ***

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Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on April 6, 2015 at 5:12pm

I agree Sk8yecat, Judas was essential to the plot line of the Myths. I have never, ever, taken anything about the Bible as serious. I mean, yes, there is some legitimate historical data in the book, but historical fiction is a great way to remember some of the details.

Comment by Michael Penn on April 5, 2015 at 11:00pm

Try all fiction.

Jesus died and his death and resurrection was attached to Easter/Ishtar which is originally a Spring fertility festival tied in with the first full moon after the equinox. Why would this be done? It means that Easter was March 30th in 1986 and April 23rd in 2000. If Jesus died on the Friday before Easter he doesn't rate highly enough to have his own date of death.

Others claim that the actual 3 days and 3 nights involved were Wednesday through Saturday, but mostly this is the Seventh Day Adventists who then have Jesus rising on their own sacred day of the week.

Still others say that the resurrection of Jesus was actually connected to the Passover, which last more than one day but again has a movable dateline. Passover was when god killed all the firstborn except for the Jewish ones, and it had to do with the Exodus which we know today never did really happen. The Jews were not slaves to Egypt.

To the Romans early Christianity was a Jewish movement. Did someone put this together in a way as to give Judaism its Messiah in hopes of avoiding future conflict? It appears so to me except for the "moveable dates" involved. This is where the fiction comes in.

Imagine a real person that you know who wants to keep the memory of his loved one alive so every year he commemorates the anniversary of that death. The problem is that you notice his loved one dies on a different day every year. You might humor him or you might think he was insane.

You might assume that his loved one never rated highly enough to have his own date of death. In this case the loved one is most likely a fiction.

Comment by sk8eycat on April 5, 2015 at 8:49pm

According to the myth, "Jesus" was here for one reason only, as a  so-called sacrifice to "save" the Jews, or everyone on this planet (that part gets confusing) from "original sin"....whatever that is.  IF that were true, Judas was a vital part of the tale...and True Believers(c) should be thanking the Jewish people for delivering them from hell.

IMO it's all fiction; or worse:

Comment by jay H on April 5, 2015 at 4:55pm

There was an interesting short story years ago, telling the events from Judas' side. Jesus was getting out of control, he was getting intoxicated by the crowds and adulation, and was starting to cause lots of trouble for the Jews. Judas had to act. He didn't relish it, but if he didn't do something things would get out of control ,,,

Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the story or author.

Comment by sk8eycat on March 30, 2015 at 8:13pm

Judas, like Jesus, was nobody.  But if you believe that the New Pestilence is true, the Jerusalem priests were very familiar with "Jesus," and needed no one to identify him.  Besides, who else was in that particular place after dinner, talking to himself?

Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on March 30, 2015 at 7:47pm
Oh! Wait. Something is changed! My profile pic I did change, but my online handle was reverted to my facebook...hmmnnn not that it matters too much, but weird.....
Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on March 30, 2015 at 7:45pm
I'm still here and there. Which page are you trying to find, Michael? My ex christian blog page?
Comment by Michael Penn on March 30, 2015 at 7:26pm

What happened to Zomberina? I liked her blogs but never marked the page.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on March 29, 2015 at 5:48am

In a way I agree Amanda.

As in every tale in history that is very convincing, a fall-guy/gal exists.

So the purpose of Judas was to make the tale appear more human like and thus convincing, as dissent/betrayal by somebody close for the enticement of greed, and then there is the forgiving of such betrayal to exalt those being glorified as extremely good and ultra forgiving.

Though it is all just an "Appeal To Emotion" fallacy.

:-D~

Comment by Michael Penn on March 28, 2015 at 11:24pm

What the modern believer has done, Amanda, (at least in America) is to become so afraid of dying that they adapted the "soul" as an invisible part of self that always has feeling and consciousness. They claim god can destroy the soul but give no example of this happening because we are either forever rewarded or forever punished. This "soul" is so separated from the body that now a majority rejects the idea of a bodily resurrection as spoken of in their scriptures. They claim your body will not be going to heaven, so my question would be what do we do with a scripture that speaks of a bodily resurrection?

This "soul" question gets so involved that in my minister training days I asked a pastor just where these dead "souls" are. He hesitated and replied "under the altar." What altar and where is it? What do we do with the "soul" that is waiting for a future time that hasn't arrived yet? This type of "soul belief" gives an instant reality to things. This way an aborted baby can instantly be in heaven, etc. Believers get what they want even if they threw away some of their scriptures and teachings.

This also allows for "instant justice." It means that the 9/11 hijackers were all instantly burning in hell for their misdeed. This altered trash is preached form the pulpit and believed by the gullible so much that the minute Hitchens died they had him in hell. It was the same with Robin Williams. The next thing you know they will once again have people in hell asking for ice water.

The problem is that a majority of believers go along with it and this is how much the scripture interpretation has changed just in my lifetime.

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