Christmas Advent HERO

Were You There: Judas

For Holy Week 2019, the Chapel presented a series of first-person narratives, called “Were You There,” from the perspective of different characters. This one, Judas’ story, was written and presented by Rev. James Wetzstein, University Pastor, for Celebrate! April 17, 2019.

Oh God, what have I done?

Oh that I could just get those days back, days when we walked with him and he taught us about the Kingdom of God.

We saw it with our own eyes.

No sooner had he called us his disciples, 12 of us, the new Israel

And we were out like prophets ourselves, proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God

and people actually listened!

And how could they not? We were emissaries of the man who was healing anyone who touched him.

Raising others back from the dead just by declaring them to be alive!

Just saying it!

His words had power!

We had power

Yes, he told us there would be trouble and why wouldn’t there be? We were heralds of a new kingdom!

But we would be victorious, we believed it.

Even when Jesus would talk about dying — we knew it was just his rhetoric, his way of firing us up, testing our commitment

And we took it to them, all the way to Jerusalem. Oh that day, what a day; no one could resist riding like the great King David to the uncontrollable cheering of the crowd hosanna blessed is he who comes.

Those bastards at the Temple.

In bed with the Romans in order to secure their own places.

I can tell sellouts when I see them, I just know.

But Jesus kept up the pressure — turning over the cheaters’ tables

Rising to every challenge presented him by those who would dare enter the debate

Yes, something was changing, instead of firing him up, the confrontations were wearing him down, like he was carrying some unbearable burden.

I wanted him to snap out of it.

Get a hold of yourself, man!

And then his morose emotions began to infect everyone around him.

Mary, in a fit of emotion, wasted all that perfume….

She always had a flair for the dramatic.

Too much money and too much time on her hands, that woman.

And all I could think was

why are we quitting?

We’ve got work to do!

God! take me back to those early days in Galilee when the word if his miracles attracted a crowd and there was always plenty to eat

and laughter…

What will they say about me?

How can I even show my face?

I am an outcast — as good as dead myself.

Somethings just can’t be undone

That’s the way it is.

I think I was always more of the kind of person who like to keep my options open to have coins in the purse rather then make the purchase.

I thought I might just force his hand a little — nothing was happening!

I came to them asking them to set a price — so they would believe my treachery.

And if we made a little money at their expense. It’s a win-win.

I think Jesus knew.

I think he was trying to warn me.

But I had faith

He wouldn’t die.

What will become of the kingdom of God?

And so I kissed him.

I could feel my heart beating

smell his sweat sweetened by Mary’s perfume

And then it was done

And what I thought would bring him to his senses, get him to assert himself


They just led them away.

Now all is lost and I am lost.

Oh, the noise of those coins… I hate that noise!

So I took it all back.

If they were going to kill Jesus that was on them.

If he was going to allow it that was on him.

I just knew I wasn’t going to hold onto blood money, not these hands!

These clean hands.

I don’t want to die!