Over recent years, politicians at judicial inquiries have perfected the phrase ' I don't/can't remember' to avoid answering questions, but at Jesus' 'trial' he just refused to answer many of their questions or justify his actions. Silence was his chosen method and by the reactions of those present, it wasn't a head bowed frightened silence. The longer Jesus refused to play their game, the more worked up, angry and threatening they became, while all the time Jesus remained calm, and by his silence or occasional replies, it is so obvious that he was in total control of the entire proceedings. This was no 'gentle Jesus meek and mild' but a Jesus determined to allow proceedings to take him to a horrible death, physically and spiritually, so that all people could experience God's love and forgiveness for themselves. And what a wonderful outcome that first Easter morning!
I sometimes wonder what was going on in Judas' mind during the three years he was with Jesus. My take on his character is that as a follower of Jesus, he hoped to become 'rich and famous', for surely Jesus really was a messiah come to rescue Israel. Ever watched a race where you really thought you had chosen a winner, only to see your chosen one gradually slip back and back, despite all the positive thoughts and encouragement you could muster? I think that is what happened to Judas. We are told that he was the treasurer of the group and in the process, lined his own pockets, so obviously he had hoped to become rich but as those three years progressed, Judas became deaf and blind to Jesus' message and more desperate to fulfil his own empty dreams. At least a decent payout of 30 pieces of silver from Jesus' enemies would be some compensation but alas, too late, Judas realised his own mistakes and took himself beyond forgiveness. How many times had Jesus spoken just to Judas, but Judas chose not to respond to Jesus' warnings. What a sad ending and a wasted life.
The 'sad ending' brings to mind my Easter blog 'Why Were You There?' of last year. I am still concerned about Easter Celebrations where the emphasis is on Good Friday and little is heard of Resurrection Sunday. Now don't get me wrong; there would have been no resurrection without the cross and Jesus' death, but I do feel there is a subtle emphasis on what I do at Easter and the physical sufferings of Jesus, instead of focusing on what Jesus did and the spiritual significance of that and his resurrection. Doing things that make one 'feel good' about how Easter has been celebrated will have as much lasting spiritual benefit as Judas spending three years in the company of Jesus.
Easter is all about reflecting on and celebrating what Jesus did for us but life for Jesus' disciples and friends didn't stop there. Matthew chapter 28 contains the last words of Jesus "Go into all the world....." accompanied by that wonderful promise "I am with you always".