Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sellout (05/26/11)
TITLE: Judas' Remorse
By Lisa Fowler
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Every ounce of my being wanted to give it back. I told them it was a mistake - that I had sold out an innocent man but the louder I yelled, the more they mocked and jeered. I begged on bended knees and I pleaded. With tears streaming down my face, I pleaded; but my words were a million silent screams racing through the corridors of time. I hurled the coins at their feet and ran. Broken and without hope, I stare across the barren, desolate field before me. All this for a few pieces of silver. Blood money. Where did it go so wrong?
We were together the better part of three years. Some left boats, some left thriving businesses, but all left everything to follow Him. From the beginning we knew there was something different about Him. Maybe it was the way our names rolled from His lips, like nectar oozing from exotic blossoms. Perhaps it was the way He looked at us; as though He could hear every unspoken word and knew every thought we’d ever had. It both terrified and comforted; nothing needed explaining. We broke bread together, slumbered together, and laughed as one. When we cried - He cried. He called us friend. We were closer than any brothers could be.
At first, I must admit we were skeptical of each other. Some more than others. I was placed in charge of the treasury. Probably NOT the wisest decision. Then again, if He was the God He claimed and not just a good man, He would have known that. John did. He never trusted me. From the beginning he labeled me a thief. If the teacher mistrusted me He never let on, and I must say - the Man could look right through you. I shutter even now recalling His eyes; cobalt - like the sky on a crisp autumn day or the ocean in summers’ sunlight, yet sharp and transparent- like steel on steel. I asked Matthew once if He’d noticed His eyes. He simply laughed.
He spoke as a man, yet with the wisdom of a God. Everyone called Him Messiah; everyone that is except me. I called Him teacher. After three years I still wasn’t sure if I bought into that whole “Savior” story. After all He cried, He laughed, He slept, and He lost His temper. He became weary and desired rest as we did. I kept reminding myself - He was just a man.
I suppose that’s why I did it - why I sold Him out. I was trying to force His hand. He said He was the Messiah, the Savior, the One sent to take away our sins and give us life everlasting. He said He was the King- the Deliverer we’d been waiting for. Why was He waiting? Why was He taking so long to set up His kingdom? If He really WAS our King; the One of whom the rabbis spoke, wasn’t it time He made His move? I was only trying to hasten things a bit. I felt if I forced Him, He would overthrow our wicked government and free us. Three years is long enough to wait - isn’t it?
The night of the supper I suppose, is when it all changed. He said one of us would betray Him. Everyone asked: “ Master? Is it me?” I asked too. He looked at me with those eyes - hard as stone, yet loving and soft as the fuzz under the neck of a newborn chick. It was that instant when I knew He saw clear through me. That instant, I knew He was both my Maker and my Redeemer.
“Thou hast said” was His simple reply. Three words that bellow and roar and echo like Egypt’s plagues through my mind. Surely He could have stopped me. He could have stopped the soldiers’ mob. Why didn’t He?
I gently kissed His soft, weathered cheek. It dripped of all the mercy and compassion and pity I‘d heard Him speak. I pulled back to the bitterness and guile and remorse of my sin. It was done. For all eternity - it was done.
Betrayal’s jagged sword now tears at my flesh. Torment and anguish and grief shred my spirit. Death is my only comfort and friend. I’ve only to pray the forgiveness and mercy and compassion of which the Messiah spoke, reaches the likes of me.
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