The Mind of Judas


I Judas, called Iscariot
Here make my last confession
For I betrayed the Lord of Love
Earth’s costliest possession
To death he went, the innocent
Condemned by my transgression

He felt the weight of what it meant
To be the Lord’s anointed
For every soul he healed he left
A thousand disappointed
He hinted that Gethsemane
Was… perfectly appointed

Ten thousand hungry, needy folk
Would never let him be
A lifetime full of miracles
Would still not set them free
But we could force the hand of God
There in Gethsemane

I know he wept when Lazarus
Was brought back from the dead
I’d seen his rage when from his whip
The money changers fled
My mind was clear: not love, but fear
Must pave the way ahead

They say I failed the one I loved
I never meant to do it
I wished to see the hand of God
Not drive the nail right through it
But in the end, I killed my friend
And everybody knew it

He knew us well – those eyes of fire
Could reach into your soul
He called the twelve to follow him
And each man had his role
Though each man had his role to play
Just one man knew the goal

“Do quickly what you have to do!”
I went, and it was night
I told the priests I’d lead the way
They said they’d see me right
The torches of the temple guards
Produced an eerie light

I led them to the garden gate
They roused him from his prayer
I kissed my friend upon the cheek
But not as a betrayer
I whispered, “See, your enemies
Have walked into the snare!”

No call to arms, no angel force
Descended with a shout
They bound his hands and like a lamb
He let them lead him out
My brothers glared and I despaired
Bewildered at the rout

The night was dark, I ran and hid
But at my waist the purse
In which were thirty silver coins
Swung heavy as a curse
And with each swing the cursed thing
Just made my sorrow worse

Those silver coins, the price of blood
The symbol of my sin
I’d felt it only right to fleece
The wealthy Sanhedrin
To use their revenue to bring
The revolution in

I wept for shame, retraced my steps
To where I’d been before
And in the temple took the coins
And hurled them on the floor
“It’s no concern of ours,” they said
And shoved me out the door

They testified a pack of lies
But still he made no plea
They crowned him with a crown of thorns
And nailed him to a tree
I left him then and went to find
Another tree for me

A knotted oak within a field
My miserable reward
I had no nails to fix my fate
But a lonely length of cord
My feet would no more touch the ground
In following my Lord

I, Judas, will in years to come
Be branded as a traitor
My life interpreted by whim
Of writer and translator
Of all the sins that men have done
They’ll say my sin is greater

My role was that of God’s left hand
That rose against the right
The left hand is the darkness
The right hand is the light
As here on earth death follows birth
And day must end in night

He bore his torment willingly
The cross, the crown, the scourge
We walked together in the world
But now our paths diverge
Great anthems will be sung for him
For me they’ll sing a dirge

There is a mystery in this
That ever must elude us
For sunlight goes with shadow
And Caesar goes with Brutus
And good and bad walk hand in hand
And Jesus needed Judas


John 13:27-30 etc