Thursday, March 03, 2005

Judas in Eternity

Here’s a mystery for Christians to ponder: Will Judas Iscariot dwell among us in heaven?

The very suggestion that history’s ultimate betrayer might be brought into God’s eternal presence may seem heretical. For one thing, Judas rates only a sliver above the antichrist as the very worst examples of evil in human form. For another, he committed suicide -- an unpardonable act, in the opinion of certain believers.

However, a corollary might be implied in the salvation of the thief on the cross. The thief in his dying moments acknowledged Jesus as Lord, and thereby was assured a home in paradise. While Judas’ treachery was inconceivably vile, scripture indicates he, too, feared Jesus’ Lordship. Judas reportedly regretted what he’d done, going so far as to return his blood money to the high priests and confess to them that Jesus was an innocent Victim of conspiracy. We might observe further that no less a rock than the apostle Peter publicly denied knowing Christ -- thrice.

It would astound and fascinate me to notice Judas Iscariot loitering in the shadows of my heavenly welcoming committee, acknowledging himself with an embarrassed smile and feeble wave when at length he caught my attention. “Hi,” I imagine he would say. “Guess you didn’t expect to see me here.”

Probably I don’t expect to -- but it would represent the ultimate forgiveness, would it not? It strikes me as just the kind of thing Jesus would do.

We’ll know when we get there.


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