I'm not sure where the question or even how the question ever came into my mind, but it is a question that I have often asked myself, and it is a question that I ask others. I think that the question came from a sermon that a priest gave in a church that my family was in when I was a small child, but I'm not sure. I now pose the question to you. Other than Jesus and the Holy Triune, who do you relate to in the Bible and why?
For a period of time I found myself relating very much to Jonah, in the story of Jonah and the Whale. For me, even though I was born into a Christian family that went to the Episcopal Church, after I moved to California, I felt it was time to attend another denomination. I had thought about joining the Quakers, as I had gone to a Quaker school for a few years, and if it wasn't for that experience, I don't think that I would of turned out the way that I have. I think that I would of used far more drugs than I did, and would have gotten into trouble resulting in me going to prison for something, but luckily for me that between the Quakers, my friends and family, and my Christian faith, I have lead a Christian life as much as possible.
I attended Lutheran, Pentecostal and other denominations services, and maybe it they weren't the right places, but I found myself back in the Episcopal Church. I have tried this over and over again, and each and every time something kept pulling me back. The last time that I recall that I was going to leave, my Bishop requested that I become a member of one of the commissions in the diocese. Him and others kept calling upon me to do more and more in the Episcopal Church, and I have come to the point where I realize that I am going to be a member throughout the rest of my life.
Not to long ago, I watched Jesus Christ Superstar 2000. Now I love the original film version, and it is one of my favorite films, but after seeing the newer film version, I haven't been able to watch it. I sat and watched the extras, and one of them as an interview with the guy who wrote the play in which the films are based on. It was through the interview that I learned that Superstar is their way of looking at the last days of Christ through the eyes of Judas. When I watched the film through that aspect, I have come to love it even more.
Judas has been someone that has been of interest to me for a number of years. I don't know why, but unlike others I don't think of him as being a “Bad Guy.” Judas was in my eyes a “Good Guy.” Judas was the one that watched and paid attention to what was going on, really listened to the words and teachings of Jesus, along with paying attention to the actions of Christ. I believe that Judas was the one that saw the “Big Picture.” Judas was the one that “Got it.”
I find myself more and more relating to Judas. I'm not saying that I “Get It”, but I find myself in the role that Judas was in so that the things that were to happen came into being. I have found that I am having to do things in order to get things going and done. Yes many of the things that I have had to do has caused others to dislike my actions, but I realize that it for the better in my opinion. I have seen the Judas actions that I have done actually have effect for both the better and the worse. In my heart, I truly believe that Judas will be in Heaven.
In one of the events in the Gospels is about a mother asking that her two sons be seated next to Jesus at the great banquet in heaven. I think that those who enter into that banquet hall will all be surprised to find sitting next to Jesus will be Judas.
I am sure that some may read this and say something like, “But Judas doesn't deserve that seat, for he sold out Jesus. If it wasn't for his actions, Jesus would of lived.” But I ask you, do you think that Christianity would exist today if this hadn't happened and Jesus lived to be an old man and died peacefully in his sleep? Why symbol would we have in our churches since we remember Christ death with the thing that he died on, that being the cross. As much as we want to only look upon Judas as a bad person, I think that we should be giving him thanks.
I find myself relating to Judas because of the congregation that I am in. At times I need to get others not within the congregation in order to get things done it seems. It upsets my pastor and others in the congregation when I do such things. They say how wrong I am because of my actions and words, and they don't quite understand that what I am trying to do is to save the church from a sure death. Over a period of a few years, the vestry put together two committees to work on our usage rules and forms, and neither one did a thing. Over a period of a few months, I put together the new rules and forms. The second group met once to go over what I had put together, and it was presented to the vestry. All of the credit was given to the committee for the work, and when it was pointed out that I should be given credit also, I hear the words that it wasn't important and that the committee should be given the credit. Funny, we have churches named after all of the apostles except for Judas. Judas has been vilified by the world. If Judas hadn't done what he did, when he did, in my view I don't think that we would have Christianity now. Yes the apostles went out and spread the good news, but would they have if Jesus had simply died in his sleep? What would our symbol be if he had died that way? Would we really understand the important of Jesus like we do now?
There are a large number of theories as to why Judas did what he did, and I think that we must remember that he was a man who wanted action and understood the importance of what he was paid to do. I believe that he understood what the Torah said about the Messiah, and that Jesus was the Messiah. I believe that Jesus knew that Judas was had to be an Apostle because Judas would do what is the correct thing that would cause us all to follow the commandments that had been laid down.
Like Judas, in my view, I try to do what it takes to get people to follow the Lord. Just because one goes to church, does not make one a Christian. I think that Judas was a Christian in the purest sense of the word. Yes Judas took his own life, but I think that at the time of the great judgment, he will be forgiven and praised for bringing trillions and trillions into the Love of the Holy Trinity like no other has. Now I am not saying that I is what I am trying to do, but if my action helps to bring even just one or two to the Lord, then I think that I will have done good work. Yes I would love to bring in trillions, and will do my best, but if it means that I will be vilified like Judas, then it will be worth it in the end.
I hope and pray that you spend time over and over again though your life understanding who in the Bible that you relate to, other than Jesus. Jesus is the easy answer, so try and figure out who else there is.