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Credit: Rembrandt [Public domain] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Judas_Returning_the_Thirty_Silver_Pieces_-_Rembrandt.jpg

Judas smugly slipped back into the Garden of Olives and down a path that he and all of the Disciples knew well.

It was over.

He had done what the other Disciples could not or would not do. Whenever the Teacher talked about His death, the Disciples always tried to hide from it. They wanted to talk about something else. Anything else.

At this point, Jesus would HAVE to be the Messiah everyone in Israel needed. Rome would be crushed and everyone would bow to the Messiah…and to Judas.

Judas walked a little further away, not really intending to go to any particular place. He just wanted to wait. Sure, the Disciples were running around like the sky was falling, but they would see. They would see the genius of Judas’ plan…and they would bow too.

Judas continued walking a little further off the path he was walking on, then stopped.

Something didn’t feel right.

Despite all of the pride he felt flowing through his veins, Judas felt something in his gut, like there was something he left undone.

He decided to go to John.

Of all the Disciples, John understood the Teacher at a deeper level. John was the “Beloved”, the one who was always nearest to the Teacher. He was the one that understood when no one else understood.

He needed to go to John. If John understood, eventually the rest would.

Finding John would not be easy, but Judas knew where to look. Whenever things went bad, John always went to Mary.

That is where he would go.

The place where Mary and the Disciples were staying was only a few miles away, so if he hurried now….

Part 2

When Judas got to where Mary was staying, it was early morning. Judas arrived to see a broken woman, her eyes inconsolable.

“Mariam….” was all he could say.

Mary avoided his eyes. John was behind her.

“Judas” John said thinly.

He stepped in front of Mary.

“Why would you come here, after….?”

Judas looked quizzingly at him. “After what…?”

John’s eyes flashed anger for a quick moment and spoke through clenched teeth. “After betraying us…”

Judas flashed a smile. “I was the only one who could do it. I was the only one who could do what had to be done, what needed to be done for our Teacher to assume His rightful throne and crush the Romans.”

John’s eyes were still angry but briefly flashed sympathy.

“Judas, the Teacher is gone.”

Judas shook his head “John, you don’t understand. It is all a part of the bigger plan. The Teacher will finally stop all of this evil…Rome, the world. He only Himself to get captured so he could destroy Rome from the inside.”

John’s eyes instantly welled up. He swallowed hard like a large rock was in his throat. “Judas, the Teacher is dead.”

Judas just stood there. In complete shock.

“Judas…”

Part 3

Judas stood for what seemed like years, then began to hyperventilate. Then, he stopped.

John walked up to him as he was slowly recovering. His index finger pointed directly at him.

Judas had never seen John angry, but at this moment John looked like anger himself.

“ You were the one who led the Temple priests to Him. You led the Teacher straight to the very people you hate, Romans to Him. You know what? They killed him.”

John let those sentences sink in.

For a moment, Judas thought he saw a fist go up in the air in a weird arc toward his face, but everything felt like a blur.

He felt nothing. Just empty.

There would be no revolution, no fixing the “Rome is the conqueror of the world” problem. Rome would continue on…and he would be an associate of just another victim of Rome.

There was no future for men like that. Only death.

Then Judas did something that he never did in his life: He ran.

He ran back to the place where he had hidden those 30 pieces of silver. It was a little box nearby a tree near the Garden of Olives. Judas had hidden it, in case he needed some money during the Revolution he was sure the Messiah would bring.

There would be no Revolution now. Only death.

Death wasn’t what scared him, though. He had faced death before and watched the Teacher slip out of Death’s hand over and over again.

Why didn’t He cheat Death this time?

That was the only question that was in Judas’ mind as he dug beneath the tree. It was still a little cold, but he didn’t feel any of it. He only felt the adrenaline rushing through his entire body as he dug feverishly into the ground for those 30 pieces of silver that had just killed the Messiah.

Why didn’t He cheat Death this time?

Why didn’t He cheat Death this time?

The more Judas asked himself that question, the more he thought about his Teacher. He tried to remember if the Teacher left any clue, any hidden message that would make sense of this. Maybe He would come back. After all, the Teacher did raise Lazarus back.

But the more he thought about it, the more that one question continued to haunt Judas’ mind.

Why didn’t He cheat Death this time?

No matter what he thought, no matter how hard he strained his mind, Judas only came to one conclusion.

I just killed the greatest Man that ever lived.

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