I think Judas is probably most infamous for the kiss where he betrayed Jesus. In movies this is often portrayed as a sly, malicious, deceitful kiss. I wonder though, was this kiss really just a secret code to let people know who to capture?
What if Judas’s kiss was one of love and affection and a way of trying to let Christ know that he wasn’t really trying to betray him?
Maybe Judas chose a kiss as the sign because he wanted a way to let Christ know that he cared for him and that he was trying to do the right thing. Maybe his words “Master, master” was a plea rather than a mocking.
Maybe Judas betrayed Jesus because he thought that if he turned Jesus in that Jesus would show everyone who He really was. Maybe Judas wanted a sign that he hadn’t abandoned his life for no reason. Maybe he wanted some reassurance that he really was following the Son of God. And maybe he thought that if he just turned Jesus over to the people that didn’t believe that Jesus was the Christ, that Jesus would show them all how divine he really was.
Maybe Judas didn’t even think that he was betraying Christ at all. Maybe that’s why Judas took the money back and wouldn’t keep it. Maybe that’s why he hung himself. Maybe he thought that surely the chief priests and the governors would see that Jesus was innocent and let him go free. Maybe he had a grand vision of the missionary work that Jesus could do while in the midst of all these leaders of men.
But then… when it all went wrong, what could Judas do? Maybe then he wanted to take it all back. Maybe then he wanted to save Jesus and he thought he could undo what he had done.
When he realized that he couldn’t change his deeds though, he must have felt worthy of death. Judas knew that Jesus would die even though Jesus was not worthy of death and it was Judas’s fault. So as Christ’s betrayer, Judas might have remembered Jesus’s words that it would have been better if he had not been born (Mathew 26:24). So what was left to do when his betrayal was so painfully obvious now that Jesus had been condemned?
I don’t know whether Judas really was malicious at heart or if his faith just faltered or if pride was his downfall, but I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, we judge Judas a little too harshly for what he did.