The 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.