“Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.”
I find this such a sad passage. Such a sad moment when Judas became the tool of Satan. In past Lenten seasons I have been struck by what led up to this moment; how Judas wanted Jesus to take the world by storm; to release the Jewish people like a King, or a leader of an army. Struck by his disappointment, frustration and impatience. I feel sorrow for Judas, and wonder why he wasn’t able to take these questions to Jesus, or why he wasn’t able to comprehend Jesus’ response.
This year I have been struck too by how I also make foolish choices in a hasty moment. In moments when I over-react; in moments when I feel impatience with how other people are behaving, or their slow (to me) speed of change. This often leads to mistakes and regrets. Sometimes I start clearing away clutter and I throw things away that I might later regret having lost. Or I might take over in a certain area of work or life; stealing responsibility, or opportunity from another, and stealing from everyone the additional creativity that that person would have brought to the particular challenge or decision.
It is impossible to act wisely when we are feeling angry, hurt, let-down, or frustrated. I pray that I will remember this next time, and will take the time to pause, pray, and ponder before acting.
And I will continue to feel empathy and sympathy for Judas, what a sad day this was for one of the chosen disciples. The painting above really captures this emotion. The sense of something lost, an action with a consequence that can not be reversed.