So I sat in church yesterday, awaiting the cue to leap up for the Halelujah Chorus, pondering the greater meaning of the Judas gospel. If it is true that Jesus had Judas turn him in to fulfill his wishes, what does that mean for the sermon I was hearing, the anthem I was singing, the building I was sitting in? I never much bought the virgin birth, wasn’t too clear on the meaning of the crucifixion, and wasn’t 100 percent convinced about even the resurrection. But, as the frequently heard rationale among the doubters goes, at least we believe in the message of Christianity and think the world is better off for his teaching. Right?
What if it was so much spin? Was Jesus fulfilling a martyr complex on top of his messiah complex? Was he fulfilling a prophecy and a plan? What does that say about free will? What if this didn’t have to happen? What if Jesus had lived a long life and died of natural causes? What if there wasn’t a crucifixion? What if he had an influence of Judaism without his followers splitting away? Would we have the same wars among the Abrahamic religions we have today? Would the world be bettter off? What does this say about moral relativism, about ends justifying means? What does it say about secrecy and conspiracy? Is heaven political? And, of course, is there heaven? Should I be Jewish?