Do I do know you?
Don’t answer my question with a query! Who’re you?
A good friend.
I’ve had sufficient of pals.
I feel you will have had sufficient of many things.
That doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I have come to offer my providers.
In what method can you do me a service?
In whatever approach you choose.
Something I select?
Something. Anything in any respect. Even so much as nothing. If that’s what you want, it’s yours. Nothingness, Judas, a rare present indeed.
Who are you!
I am nobody.
Then only a figment of my imagination. Is that it?
If that’s what you would like, then it is so.
Up to now my creativeness was never this vivid.
No. No it wasn’t. But, you’re starting to see a number of things extra clearly, more vividly now. Aren’t you?
Yes. Sure, I’m.
Have you heard?
The crowd is turning towards Him. The Sanhedrin smells blood.
How have you learnt?
I do know the mob. I do know males. They adore a hero. However they adore more seeing a hero fall.
He isn’t but fallen.
True. Not but.
He doesn’t understand He’s dropping his attraction.
Such a fool.
Sure. Anyone with eyes can see things are altering. He is dropping management.
The mob is sad. He protects whores and wastes costly ointments on Himself. He tells the individuals to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s.
He has betrayed the individuals. He has betrayed His own ideals.
Precisely. Think about telling the poor to pay taxes? Imagine telling patriots to be meek and submissive? He has lost the poor and the zealots and the prudes. Who’s left to guard Him?
Me. I am His good friend. The mob doesn’t frighten me.
Nothing frightens you, does it, Judas? Except maybe…
Not what. Whom.
He frightens you.
No! I don’t worry Him. Under no circumstances. I am afraid of nothing. Not even demise.
Good, because this may increasingly finish in demise. Some say He should die.
That isn’t my plan.
But He might die nonetheless.
That’s His selection. He can reside if He so chooses. His blood won’t be on my arms.
What of your personal demise? I see in you a dark needing.
I can’t die both. I yearn to reside, not die. You’re mistaken. I just need to breathe free.
As you say, so it shall be. It’s good, excellent, if you wish to stay.
Good? Why good?
Because it’s onerous to discount with the lifeless.
Who are you?
What shall I say, Judas? What reply will assure you? What identify will assuage you? I am whomever and no matter you need me to be. Inform me, how can I assist you?
I don’t want your help!
Have you come to mock me?
There are already sufficient who do this.
Why gained’t you inform me who you’re?
If I knew for certain, maybe I might. However as I’ve stated, it doesn’t matter. Come, Judas, let’s speak.
Sure, let’s discover the chances that lie earlier than us. Let’s be practical and contemplate our options.
Yes, He’s by no means sensible. He never weighs His options. There are all the time choices. We’re free to choose.
That’s proper. Nothing is predestined. Nothing is already written. Allow us to see what’s to be carried out.
Yes, what ought to be executed?
No, not what ought to be completed. Somewhat, what have to be finished. We are sensible men; we’re honorable males; we see clearly the world as it’s.
So, you are a man. A man identical to me.
No, not identical to you. However we do have much in widespread. Let us see where we will go from here. From here, together.
One other day passes. The time of determination attracts near. Be daring. Be bold. Be free.
Sure, free. Free to be you. Free to breathe!
He suffocates me!
I know. His embrace is sort of a vise. Ever tightening. Remorseless. Suffocating!
They’re meeting tonight.
I do know. Good males, fearful and concerned males.
Nonsense. Few of them are good men. And some are evil. Some are formidable. Virtually all of them are petty and self-serving. Some even are secretly employed by the Romans.
You’re right. But you are not like that.
No, you aren’t. Yes, in fact, you’ve got ambition, however you are not overly formidable. Sure, you recognize the value of cash, but you aren’t excessively greedy. But principally, principally, you’re genuinely concerned, you’re sincerely nervous, you’re not sure how it will finish and even how it should end.
I am not like them. I can’t be part of their plot. I simply want the reality.
You will not study the truth standing nonetheless.
You assume I should be a part of them?
No, don’t be a part of them. By no means! They’re beneath you; they don’t seem to be concerned for the individuals as you’re. They’re contemptible.
Just go and pay attention. Don’t converse at all. And don’t be fooled by their phrases; simply take heed to their message. Don’t do anything, but pay attention. Simply watch and pay attention. There isn’t a harm in listening to what they should say. To raised understand the state of affairs.
I have to get away from Him.
There is just one strategy to escape his grasp, Judas. You realize that’s true.
I can just depart. Stroll away. Flee and go removed from right here. Maybe to Antioch, even all the best way to Rome.
You realize He’ll comply with you wherever you go. You realize he won’t ever relent. He thinks you belong to Him, Judas. He gained’t let go. Not ever. He loves you.
Loves me? That’s ridiculous. He prefers that blustering idiot Simon and dotes on that half-man John. Loves me? What nonsense! He never liked me. He never appreciated me. He by no means…
He by no means confided in you His most intimate secrets and techniques and plans. He by no means thought-about you considered one of his inside circle.
As an alternative, He scolded me for chastising that whore! He chooses the easily-purchased affection of a whore over me, His most trusted comrade.
Even nice men could be fooled and can belief in the incorrect individuals. He ought to have treated you higher and trusted you extra. You’d never betray Him.
Sure, yes, precisely! He doesn’t trust me! He doesn’t love me! Not likely, not absolutely and utterly! But don’t assume I’ll betray Him. He’s my pal.
He has already betrayed you in a dozen methods. Humiliating you in entrance of that whore. Choosing Peter over you as his second-in-command. Accusing you of loving money an excessive amount of. Over and over once more, he has set you aside for criticism. You. Only you. The others He loves extra.
Nonetheless, I can’t betray Him. I am not like the others; a minimum of He can all the time rely on me.
And but, His love frightens you. You are feeling trapped by it. As you set it, you possibly can hardly breathe. His love is suffocating. It’s deadly. You are feeling much less your self every time He’s close by. He overshadows every thing else; you can’t develop—nothing can grow—in His shadow. You’ll be able to by no means be you for so long as He’s.
What can I do? How can I save myself?
No, Judas, this is not just a matter of saving yourself. You are not that egocentric and self-serving. How are you going to save all of them? How are you going to save even Him? He wants you extra now than ever. He wants you to move out of His shadow and into the sunshine. To see actuality. To see this world as it’s and to save lots of Him from Himself.
I didn’t need the money. It was never concerning the money.
And yet, I took it.
Sure, you did.
I didn’t want them to beat Him. It was never about revenge.
And but, they stripped Him, beat Him, paraded Him about like a educated monkey, with a daft crown of thorns on His head. I needed to chuckle seeing Him brought so low.
Sure, had to! He was all the time so self-righteous. So confident. So self-confident. He finally discovered what the actual world is all about and His position in it.
He discovered He has no position right here in any respect.
It’s a lesson He should have discovered way back. I tried to elucidate it to Him, but He wouldn’t pay attention. Now it is too late for Him.
Did you take pleasure in watching Him die?
I didn’t watch Him die; I wasn’t there. I stored my distance.
You all the time stored your distance, didn’t you? You never let Him get utterly inside you. You have been wiser than those different fools.
Solely the ladies stayed to the top. Only the women and that half-man.
Not even Simon Peter was among them?
Not even! His favourite, His Rock turned to sand and blew away in the tumult. The half-man stayed, but not the half-wit Peter. Peter was all the time and will all the time be a coward.
Have been you also a coward? Have been you afraid to observe Him die?
No, not afraid of that at all. But I stored my distance. I heard his screams. I heard him cry like just a little boy who lastly realizes it’s time to develop up. However I noticed nothing.
So, He was not so nice in any case. Simply another human afraid of pain and fearing dying.
Sure, only a human. Simply…
For those who weren’t afraid, why hold your distance?
I was afraid. However not of watching Him die. That may be straightforward in any case He did to me.
Then what scared you?
I feared that I might pity Him. That I might regret informing the excessive clergymen of the place to seek out Him.
No regrets then?
A sane man does not regret what he needs to do. I had no real selection. I can’t regret doing what had to be achieved.
And you probably did it. You really did it. You gained.
No. It didn’t work. It simply didn’t work.
What, what didn’t work?
Once I kissed Him in the garden…
You kissed Him? As you betrayed Him! Now that is scrumptious! How did He react? What did He do? The look on His face should have been priceless.
Priceless? Extra so, fathomless. He kissed me back. He sensed the mob with their torches and golf equipment gathering around. And all He looked at was me.
He was stunned?
I don’t know. His eyes. His eyes. He looked at me!
He checked out me and I knew He beloved me! Rattling Him. Damn you. Damn me! He nonetheless loves me. I haven’t escaped. I haven’t escaped at all.
There is just one true escape.
What escape? I can’t bear this any longer. His love is like a festering sore. His love surrounds me and suffocates me; it chains me to Him towards my will.
Only the dark can prevent. Cover from yourself and Him in the darkish. He can’t comply with you into that darkish nothingness that you simply crave.
Is it actually that straightforward? I simply kill myself and He can be gone?
Not quite. He won’t ever be absolutely gone. But you’ll stop feeling Him and you will cease even understanding you.
Such a wondrous present you supply! This present of nothingness. Sure, you have been right from the beginning. That is what I want. To not be is the most effective one might be.
Here. Take this rope. It is well-suited in your neck.
But this rope will solely kill my body; I’ll still exist and keep in mind for eternity how He looked at me.
Don’t worry about that. There’s a nowhere where He can’t descend… until you ask it of Him. Don’t ask and His Will is powerless towards your will.
But what if…
Take the rope. No extra considering. It is time for the man of action. The man who really controls his personal future. Take the rope.
He nonetheless loves me.
Take the rope.
And I really like Him still! So much! So very a lot!
Take the rope.
It feels tight round my throat.
Just a bit tighter now. Freedom is nearly yours.
I can’t breathe. The darkness is suffocating. The darkness is crushing me. I need to stay. I would like His love. I hate Him!
It is completed.
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Editor’s Notice: The featured picture is “Conscience, Judas” (1891) by Nikolai Ge (1831-1894), courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.