by Rev. Michaël Merle
It is good for us to consider that the Apostles may very well have come to know that the role of betrayer was, in fact, a very great and necessary role and that none of them knew who would be capable or willing to take on this difficult role. When the disciples sitting at the Last Supper become aware that Judas Iscariot is the one who will betray Jesus, they do not pounce on him and bind him. They are acutely aware of the significant and difficult role he is to perform. It may be that there questioning: “Is it me, Lord?” and “Not I, Lord, surely?” is a reflection of the process of discovering if they are worthy, so to say, to undertake such a very arduous task that will inevitably involve the sacrifice of their development.
At the Temptation of Jesus after the Baptism there is unfinished business, the changing of the stones to bread. The Spirit sends Jesus into the desert to face the masters of the earth who create separation. At the Last Supper before Jesus consecrates the bread, he dips a piece in the broth and gives it to Judas saying: “Do what you need to do”. At that moment the devil enters into Judas and Judas becomes the servant of Ahriman whom Jesus did not directly answer during the Temptation. When Judas goes out from the meal at this point, before the first eucharist is celebrated, the scriptures describe the night-time as follows: “And it was dark”. Judas experiences spiritual darkness. In leaving the twelve at the Last Supper Judas is alone. This aloneness and spiritual darkness is the experience of current humanity of whom Judas was the forerunner. Judas could not have fulfilled his task without the community of the twelve. It is through this that Ahriman has entered all of humanity in a deeper way and why all but one of the disciples are not at the foot of the cross.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas kissed Jesus for the love he bears him. This may strike us as being the very opposite of what we have thought and reflected upon previously. Judas does betray the Son of Man for the love that he does bear and the mission he feels compelled to undertake.
It is possible to contrast the mission of Judas with that of Lazarus. The chief priests wished to kill someone who had become a true follower of the Christ. They set their sights on Lazarus. John 12, which depicts the anointing of Jesus and records the intention to kill Lazarus, provides us with a ritual akin to that which we undertake at an altar. Lazarus (who becomes John – the one at the cross) has been called forth from the grave of his “temple sleep” (initiated) and so is able to resist the influence of Ahriman on the disciples. Lazarus, as a fully initiated follower, is identified by the chief priests as someone to kill, while Judas, who does not go through an initiation, is identified as deserving of a reward.
Judas intends to take on the mission of the betrayal. Judas was the treasurer among the twelve, and this placed him in a connection to Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector and would have been, perhaps, a more natural choice to be treasurer. Judas undertakes the task (appropriating it for himself) and also appropriates from the purse what is not his to take. This is the dilemma for Judas. He took on the mission within the twelve that we could rightly say belongs to him who replaces him, the disciple Matthias (whose name is so similar to Matthew). The position Judas held we could say was that of Matthias and was not his own alone.
Matthias had followed Jesus from the Baptism to the Ascension and was committed even though Jesus did not give him a mission during the three years of the incarnated Christ. Matthias is connected to Simon the Zealot and to Judas Thaddaeus (Jude). There is a brotherhood between these three men that may stem from their following Jesus from the Baptism to the Wedding Feast at Cana. They understood the event at the Wedding Feast of the forces of the sun that turns the water in the vine to wine. They recognised the forces of the Sun in the man Jesus and thereby the Being of the Son become flesh.
The thirty pieces of silver that were paid to Judas for the betrayal reflect the thirty years of Jesus before the Baptism. He received nothing for the three years of Christ in Jesus. The thirty pieces of silver are not kept in a purse as would be the case for payment of a job. Rather they are either scattered or used to purchase a field.
The act of betrayal required Judas to relinquish his will; he must become self-sacrificing and, ultimately, he cannot live with the sacrifice. It was as act of bravery that was greater than he could carry. He must make himself pure by sacrificing his will. When Judas kills himself there is still a mission to be accomplished. Matthias can take on the purity of Judas’ self-sacrifice and thereby fulfil the mission that he shares with Judas. Therefore, Matthias is the disciple elected to fill the place of Judas.
In killing Jesus, the life of Lazarus-John is spared so that John can become a witness to the Christ. Lazarus dies twice, once in the tomb to be called forth to a new consciousness by Jesus and a second time on the Isle of Patmos when he enters the Spirit in full consciousness. This dual death earns him the peace of a quiet final end to his life.
The stone connected with Judas is the Virgo stone which has no iron in it – no will in it. It is chrysolite. It is the iron-free form of forsterite containing magnesium and silicate. Chrysolite comes from the Greek “chrysolithos” or golden stone.
Chrysolite is connected to the human ability to perceive. Our sight is a free sense that serves us. This sight came about through a sacrifice of the Christ before the current Earth cycle of time. Without this sacrifice our eye would appropriate the light of sight.
The soul quality connected with chrysolite is courtesy. This soul quality must be transformed to the spiritual quality of a virginal heart or heart’s tact. Judas had to consider the needs of the whole and sacrifice his own mission.
The attributed Coat of Arm of Judas Iscariot with thirty pieces of solver and rope with which he hanged himself.
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