… anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse Deuteronomy 21:23 (NIV)
Cursed I am … cursed! It’s my anger you see, it got the better of me, and now I’m cursed! My anger’s always been a problem. Most of the time I’ve been able to keep it under control, but over the past few days it’s been raging inside me. What upset me, what really infuriated me, was the wasted perfume. We were at Simon the Leper’s house in Bethany, enjoying a meal in honour of Jesus, when Mary got it into her head to break open an expensive jar of perfume and pour it over Jesus’ feet. It was sacrilege! The perfume was worth a year’s wages and could have been sold and the money given to the poor. The house reeked of it. And Jesus, he further annoyed me by spiritualising the matter and saying, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
I wasn’t the only one embarrassed that night. Simon, a wealthy man, didn’t exactly step forward to support our cause. Not surprisingly, with Jesus going on about Mary’s actions being a beautiful thing and preparing him for his burial. Instead of talking about dying he should have been talking about fighting. Where was his political sense? He didn’t seem to care about the Romans taxing us to death!
Being furious about the wasted perfume doesn’t excuse what I did next. You see I thought I could force Jesus to lead a revolt, to truly become our king. So to raise the stakes I went to the chief priests and asked if they’d be willing to pay me if I betrayed him. They were elated at the prospect and immediately counted out thirty silver coins which they promised to give me when I directed them to him.
At the Passover feast he left me with no choice. When he gave the blessing he said, “One of you is going to betray me.” John asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Then he dipped the bread in the wine saying, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread.” Then he gave it to me. I tried to bluff my way out of it and said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” But he knew. Looking me right in the eye he said, “Yes, it is you.” I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Later that night I led them to the garden where I knew he’d be. When the chief priest’s men took him, the others ran. I may have betrayed him, but they deserted him.
After the payoff I hung around to see what would happen. It was disastrous. The people didn’t rise up in revolt – the spineless cowards. And when Pilate asked what they wanted him to do with Jesus they joined the priests, screaming together, “Crucify him!”
Horrified, I tried to undo the deal, offered to give the money back and told them I’d betrayed innocent blood. They didn’t care. They were set on killing him and they’ll kill the rest of us too. It’s hopeless … we’re all cursed!
[Scripture extracts from Matthew 26, Luke 22 and John 12&13]