Another Easter has gone by. Nature welcomes the celebration of resurrection with an air of freshness. A new era after a long season of numbing cold; one of hope and love.
Nevertheless, Easter is also inlaid with the story of perhaps the greatest betrayal in human history: the treason of Judas Iscariot.
How could Judas – one of the selected 12 from among the multitude of followers – give up his teacher for a meager sum of 30 silver coins? This question has baffled me since childhood.
But now, while still lamenting the idiocy of Judas, I understand that the story has a tangible relationship with human nature.
The fall from grace
Historians believe that Judas was as saintly as all the other disciples of Jesus in the beginning. Having followed him everywhere, renouncing everything, Judas must have loved and respected Christ and his ideologies. But along the path, he lost his way because of his lust for money.
We see the glimpse of his avariciousness at the dinner in Bethany, days before Passover, when Mary Magdalene anoints Christ with expensive perfume. Commenting on the extravagance, Judas shows his lenience to materialistic urges.
As the keeper of the purse, Judas was always the one who handled money. Jesus never checked the accounts with him. This might have prompted him to keep some money on his own. But he was unaware of the darkness that was dawning on him.
Before Passover, he made a pact with Pharisees and the chief priest for 30 pieces of silver to deliver Jesus to them. But once he committed the act, he fell into deep remorse and gave up the reward and put an end to his life.
The attitude of Judas.
Because of this unfaithfulness, Judas might be the most despised person in history. Generations, who believe themselves to be the followers of Jesus, condemn his treachery. But I think Judas lives within us and is influencing our decisions even today.
The over attachment to materialism has resulted in a growing Judas consciousness. In the hedonistic world, where fortune and power are hailed supreme, people betray their own values and morals for satisfying their urges.
Behind every fortune, there is a crime
Honore de Balzac
In fact, we can only live in this world by compromising some of our values. But while staunchly pursuing riches, we have to make a pact with the devil, ensuing unforeseen repercussions.
Wealth vs Morality
Morality is the compass that guides society to goodness. But unfortunately, we trade superior values like love, compassion and honesty for our selfishness and greed.
Amassing wealth by betraying our morality leads eventually to a great fall. When the goodness inside us is crucified, what joy can the fortune bring? Like Judas’ silver coins, it becomes useless, and even the benefits attained with it smells of blood.
Overcoming the urges
Everyone is tested by the lure of wealth and splendor. Almost everyone falls for it and ultimately meets with the fate of Judas. How can we avoid such a disaster?
The answer to the question lies in Jesus’ three temptations in the desert. In the final test, the demon shows the pomp and glory of the world and promises to give all of it if Son of man worships him. The test implies that to achieve material benefits, we have to prostrate before immorality.
But Jesus, contrary to Judas, embraces virtuousness. He preaches that one shall never give up his integrity for anything. The trickster flees at his power of will. By this example, Christ guides us on how to deal with the tug of war between money and goodness.
Those who win the internal conflict and chooses virtue over fortune are the true followers of Christ. Those blessed few, enjoy the peace and happiness Jesus promised and achieves Christ consciousness.
Our life is a test which purges our will from time to time. Though the charm of materialism and carnal pleasures are alluring, danger and darkness lurk at the end of the road.
But if we choose life over death and virtues over fortune, Christ consciousness grows in our hearts and our paths to love will forever be illuminated with the brightness of joy and calmness of peace.
Let our life be a metamorphosis from Judas consciousness to Christ consciousness
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