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Friday, 18 April 2014

Passover - In The Voice Of Judas

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I was asked to write a poem about Easter in the voice of Judas Iscariot for a 'BBC Guernsey Radio' show being broadcast on Easter Sunday. I found that the task was harder than expected because despite Judas' key role in the Easter story, there is not much about him in the bible. This is complicated further as the accounts of what happened all differ. In addition there is the added complication of a Gospel that has been attributed to Judas, a fact which if accurate could raise questions about the timing of his death.

I have tried to show the turmoil that might have taken place within his mind, a construct that allowed me to bring in a variety of differing 'facts' without siding with any particular account. That said, I have used the word 'passover' in the title because in most of the accounts Judas is dead before Easter.

Passover - In The Voice Of Judas

It shouldn’t be like this.
Our leader, Jesus,
We needed to take the initiative.
I just wanted to shake things up.
It’s time to rise up.

I shouldn’t feel this, this guilt.​​​​
Our rabbi, Jesus,
recruited - ME; Judas.
He knew I would give him up.
He even told me to do it ‘quickly’.

It shouldn’t be like this.
The others call him; Lord.
Is that possible, the Son of God?
The scriptures foretell a betrayal.
Did God intend me to do it?

It shouldn’t end like this.
I like the guy, he’s incredible,​
the miracles, ideas, His grace.
He gave me; a thief, the purse.
Did I let Satan tempt me?

I shouldn’t be so confused.
This ‘man’ – Jesus,
What’s he all about?
What have I missed?
What’s going on?

It shouldn’t be so irrational.
Three years and I don’t know
if I helped or betrayed my friend.
Could Jesus be the Son of God?
Why don’t I understand?

I shouldn’t feel like this.
Who is the man I kissed?
Teacher? Leader? Son of God?
Was it at his behest, or did I betray him?
and why; for God, Satan, my own greed?

It shouldn’t be like this.

John Carré Buchanan
24 February 2014