Asking the Tough Questions

confused boyThe Wednesday before Easter, my dear friend Ashley and I went to a performance of “Kingdom Undone,” which was showing at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.  This was a story of days leading up to Christ’s death, but the emphasis … was on Judas Iscariot.

The betrayer.  The traitor.  But in this play, a lover of Christ who misunderstood just what the coming of Christ’s kingdom would truly look like.  A zealous believer who thought he was doing what was right, even what was needed of him.

It was fascinating.  Afterward, Ashley and I could not quit talking about Judas and his role in Christ’s death, both of us eager to return to Scripture to measure our thoughts against Truth.

I want Judas to be redeemed.  So badly.  Mostly because I think that would make for the best story.

That alarmed me for a little bit, made me really uncomfortable.  Was I imagining that I could make an “improvement” on the gospel story (if Judas was not under grace)?  The gospel is my FAVORITE story.  It’s like how I’d feel if someone wanted to change the ending to The Last Battle or something.  (Potentially– I still have not totally landed on what I think was Judas’ fate.  Although scripture does say, “Satan entered into him.”  But we also do know that he regretted his choices– deeply.)

Anyway, it’s good for this obsessive-compulsive to sit with troublesome uncertainty.  Once upon a time, these kinds of questions would have collapsed me, but now I’ve learned to sit with them.

Another of my friends emailed me this week with an unrelated faith crisis as she struggles to reconcile the (vengeful, confusing, sometimes bloodthirsty) God of the Old Testament with the (merciful, loving, gracious) Christ of the New Testament.  They are, after all, one and the same.  But she loves Jesus, she told me, and is pissed at the OT God and trying to struggle her way through the dissonance.

I wonder the same thing sometimes too.  The Old Testament and New seem so vastly different.  But I know that the Law was a tutor to lead us to Christ, and I know that the God of the Old Testament orchestrated the whole beautiful gospel from before time began, so they do flow together.  I know that God welcomed Gentiles like me in order to make Israel jealous, and I am forever grateful to be a wild shoot grafted into the natural tree.

This post doesn’t have a lot of answers, and I think that’s okay.  I’m learning to ask the tough questions and to sit without an answer, wait in that uncomfortable silence because God is still holy there.

8 thoughts on “Asking the Tough Questions

  1. I have a lot of questions too. I guess that is ok. I’m counting on God to reveal the answers to me (in this life or the next) when He’s good and ready and when He feels I can handle it. But, sometimes it really is hard to sit with unanswered questions. I guess that’s part of trusting Him.

  2. Oh, I have such a hard time sitting with the questions – I know it’s what I need. Like Sunny says, if I’m only going to trust Him after I have all my questions answered – well, that’s not trust, is it? I hope to follow this quote by Rilke: ” . . . .have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

  3. Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
    Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

    Matthew 26:25.

    If Judas is in heaven right now, how could it have been better to never be born?

    I don’t see anything in the bible to indicate that Judas was saved, but there are verses that strongly suggest the opposite.

  4. Im kind of having a hard time with the whole idea of whether I’m forgiven or not, maybe it’s my ocd. Everyone always talks about being dramatically changed when Christ comes into their hearts, and I feel like He really did come into my heart and then I question it and doubt it and that leads to not trusting God fully. And I just want to know whether I’m going to heaven or hell it’s very confusing:(

      • Oh dear! Good to know ERP can help though:) Have you ever thought of posting some ERP exercises that you can do on your own or tips? That would be very helpful! Thanks a ton!

      • ERP needs to be very individualized to each person, based on your own intrusive thoughts, obsessions, and compulsions. But if you check out a book like Stop Obsessing by Edna Foa or Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Jonathan Grayson, those books will guide you!

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