. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Dear Judas,

I’ve thought of you often through the years. Knowing you took your own life makes me feel sad. It must have been some crazy horrible dark impenetrable guilt you experienced after selling God Himself for 30 pieces of silver. But I’ve got some questions for you. I hope you’re allright with my candor . . .

How did it feel to have God Himself wash your dirty,stinky feet all covered in dust and sweat and grime? Did you realize the irony as you left that place and walked those same clean feet straight to the enemy to turn Him in. Or the irony of the grime in your heart that only Jesus knew about?

When Jesus bent over to wash your feet and wipe them clean, did it make you feel physically ill? Did you have any sense of remorse or second-thought? Or did it just make you more angry, bitter, jealous? Did it strengthen your resolve and stoke the fire of hate inside your belly? Or was there even just a twinge of sincerity in your deepest gut? I imagine that whole thing about showing you guys “the full extent of His love” was completely lost on you, huh?

When Jesus handed you that piece of bread and said

What you are about to do, do quickly

did you go flush for a moment? You know, that wash of terror-filled adrenaline that floods your veins when you’re found out. Did you wonder how He knew?  Did you run out because you made yourself sick? Or were you so focused on the money that you couldn’t wait to get it? Did you have a plan for all that cash? I wonder what you were going to do with it. Buy a new home for your family? New shoes, maybe? Hmm.

I have to tell you, I guess I know where you were coming from. There have definitely been times in my life when I’ve been so focused on what I want that I’m willing to do almost anything to get it. And I do know how it feels to not want to hear what Jesus has to say, to not want to know how much He loves me, to not let His love penetrate anything but the tough skin on my feet. I just wish you could have turned back. I wish you would’ve gotten it.

I can’t help but wonder if you had a hard time growing up. Did you struggle to be loved? I’m guessing you were always maybe one of those hard-to-like people. I wonder how you felt when Jesus first called you to follow Him. Did you feel His love for you then? What happened? Did you ever feel remorse about the money you helped yourself to? You know, the cash in the bag that you had charge of. The cash that belonged to Jesus and the other eleven. I guess you probably didn’t realize that gave Satan an in. A leg to stand on when he prompted you to sell Jesus’ whereabouts.

But it all worked out, Judas. And, you may or may not be happy to know that you actually worked according to God’s perfect plan. So thank you. The very thing you did in order to thwart His plan actually led to the working of it. Yep, that’s right. Those people you turned Him over to? They killed Him. But that only let Him kill death itself. And, now, I can live forever.

So, thanks.

It’s hard to write this letter without bitterness pulsing through my veins. I mean, your very name creates animosity even now, 2,000 years later. But today, I read the story of how Jesus washed your feet in John 13. And something struck me like never before. Verse 1 says,

Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

He called you His own. And loving you, washing your feet, well, I believe that took every ounce of every bit of love He had to give. He knew you’d go dirty up those clean feet again, just minutes after He washed them. But He cleaned them anyway. He loved you fully. Without reserve.

And I am humbled in my deepest of deeps. Because that’s how He rolls. That’s how loves.

Even you, Judas.

Even me.

2 Thoughts on “Dear Judas,

  1. Diane on April 22, 2011 at 8:25 am said:

    Oh, how He loves us so. I have been struggling a bit all week trying to grasp the meaning of this day- this “Good” Friday. Thank you for this picture. Beautiful. And convicting. Again. Love you friend.

  2. Powerful thoughts aren’t they? To truly love your enemies, what an example for us our Lord was, in EVERYTHING He taught!Thanks for the reminder!

    I read the same passage last night, and Sun. MIke spoke to verses 7-11, verse 10 Jesus says when we are bathed (in His blood and cleansed from sin once) then we only need our feet washed, not our whole body, when we sin (which we do) we only have to come back to the feet of Jesus and He will cleanse us from that sin, we are always a part of Him because He has washed us clean of sin. WOW!!

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