Jesus [with Mary Magdalene, her head bowed]: Thank you for coming so quickly, Judas – there’s not much time.
Judas: I am yours. I come when I am called. What is it you want to tell me so urgently?
Jesus: You know how much I love you and trust you, don’t you?
Judas: I do. And you know that every breath I take is for you.
Jesus: I know it. You and Mary are my greatest disciples. My greatest friends. You were given to me by God and you have made me so much more than I could have ever been by myself. Whatever they say over time – we are the three.
Judas: Why are you so serious? You look pale. Why are you talking like this?
Jesus: I must command you to betray me, my brother.
Judas [frightened]: How could I ever betray you? Why would you even think it?
Jesus [placing a hand on Judas’s shoulder]: If our work is to be remembered, I need to sacrifice myself for the sin we all share in life. If you do as I ask, and deliver me up in the garden, I will be scourged, tortured with thorns and nailed to a cross on the Roman road. It will be brutal but it will be short enough.
Judas [horrified]: No… No!
Jesus [anguished]: Your fate will be MUCH worse than mine. Your suffering will echo through the ages far louder than mine but no one will hear it. I will be the hero and you will be the villain… forever and ever.
Judas [angrily]: I will never do it! How could our work ever come down to this?
Mary [crying]: Jesus, why must you ask him to do this? He does not deserve it. Let me bear this. I will betray you.
Jesus [firmly]: No. You will always be condemned as a “whore” despite your faithfulness and love to me. You have your own burden to bear. Judas – do you love me?
Judas: With all my heart. I retract what I said. I will do whatever you ask. You command me. I follow your orders under the light of God, your father.
Jesus: Then tell them to come and arrest me in the garden. Accept some silver for the information.
Judas [shaking his head]: I will be hated for all time for this, my brother. It is a heavy burden.
Jesus: It is the heaviest burden but for millennia our message will be remembered: forgiveness and our commitment to the poor and the weak. Do not be frightened about how you are remembered throughout history here on earth. You, the great “betrayer”, will, in fact, be the greatest hero in human history. No one will know it – you will be dark matter – but, you know?
Judas [whispering]: What?
Jesus: I will know it. Mary will know it and God will know it. You, the “betrayer” and Mary, the “whore” will command me when we are reunited in paradise. I will be a disciple to you both in eternity. This I promise you. Mary – please, is there any water.
Mary: Yes, my brother.
Jesus: I want to wash his feet. And yours. My dearest, beloved friends.
Judas [mournfully]: Why must it be like this?
Jesus [removing Judas’s and Mary’s sandals and washing their feet]: They will build a mighty Basilica for Peter in Rome but, not long from now, three times he will deny me. He will betray me and be rewarded with the love of puppets. I have foreseen it but our message must still be sent, in the name of God. How it may be abused over time is not our concern so long as we are together in our love for forgiveness and solidarity with the weak and the abused – those who we commit our lives and our hearts to because we are all from God.
Judas [after some moments]: I will obey your command, my brother. My heart is clear.
Jesus [taking Judas’s feet in his hands]: They will say in the sacred texts that you betrayed me with a kiss. I now kiss your feet as the greatest man who ever lived. Your name is love and ultimate sacrifice; not mine. In the afterlife, I will serve you.
Judas: You will always be my king.
Mary: You will always be my king.
Jesus: We ARE the trinity, my brother and my sister; my king and my queen. You need to go now, Judas. Here is some silver… Love ripples out quietly through the ages. You will see, sweet Judas… sweet Mary of mine…
To readers of this blog, if any, for a number of reasons I decided (with the exception of this post) to take a vacation from blogging this December. However, Deep Freeze will return and be completed in January.