LITTLE KNOWN GOSPEL FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW: Critical Knowledge for Christians In the Time of Trump. Part 6
The most maligned hero in History
Another business Jesus would like to have sorted out is the very bad rap Judas Iscariot has carried for two millennia.
As a member of the violent revolutionary sect the sycarii or zealots, Judas was extremely protective of Jesus and was also treasurer of the group. Sometimes he even appears in the Gospel as Jesus’ most trusted disciple.
When Jesus pulled off his massive heist in the temple it is quite possible that Judas’ friends in the Sycarii movement may have been involved. These powerful socialist revolutionaries hated the Jewish temple hierarchy as much as they hated the Romans, and wound up assassinating many temple priests during the final year of Jerusalem’s existence, in an orgy of rage, since all would soon be butchered.
In the 30s AD history notes these assassins were quite active. Two hundred robed worshippers suddenly throwing off their robes and brandishing their sicari, their short daggers after which the group is named, could have given Jesus a bit of much needed help. How else to empty a stadium quickly? And this sudden public attack from disguise in a crowded space was their modus operandi, according to the histories. Judas would certainly be implicated in this attack. But, whatever the truth, the church authorities were furious, and were searching everywhere for the Jesus gang of terrorists. So here’s the story as Jesus told me, of Judas’ “betrayal”, from the ancient Gospel of Judas:
Jesus was discussing his plans to surrender to the temple authorities, when Judas interrupted.
“No! Don’t just turn yourself in! I’ll talk to the Romans. I’ll get them to hand over some silver denarii for me to lead them to you. I can probably get thirty. That will give your disciples some way to survive in an upper room until the heat is off. Remember, we ain’t fishin’ the Sea of Galilee anymore!”
“Meanwhile you wait up there in the garden. It’s dark. It’s quiet. You know, behind that old olive tree. When I lead those Roman troops out there, we spring the ambush! None escape alive!”
Jesus: “NO! NO! I have to go peacefully! It’s part of the plan. I like the money idea, but frankly I can’t let you do it, Judas! You are my most faithful disciple! And you will be treated as a villain for all of history! Spit upon! Hated As the betrayer!”
Judas: “So who else should you ask? Besides, didn’t you always say, he who would be first must be last? Let me be your first disciple. Do I care what those people say? You know, Master, what is done this night. Why should I care about any other opinion?”
Of course it was Jesus’ plan to go to the dark garden alone so as not to endanger any of the other disciples. And of course Peter the rock...rocks for brains anyway, insisted on keeping watch at the garden. Well, he falls sound asleep, then waking at the approach of a cohort of soldiers, gets into a fistfight. Then he goes on to claim three times when questioned: “Jesus? Never met him!” With friends like Peter who needs disciples?
That cohort? Usually portrayed as a few security guards. I mean who needs more than that to get this quiet Prince of Peace?
Not exactly. A cohort would be the entire combat force of an urban fortress in the Roman Empire. In a peaceful province such a cohort might be only 600 heavily armed soldiers.
Peaceful? That wouldn’t be Jerusalem. Historians estimate this cohort at 1000 men. Especially during the holidays.
1000 heavily armed soldiers to arrest one unarmed crackpot Messiah. Why? Remember that Temple business? Yeah…Now we see why the Roman army thought they needed 1000 soldiers to bring him down.
In any event, it was this powerful military ally of Jesus who willingly took the rap for his master’s death. Vilified forever, while his courage and sacrifice not only pulled off the greatest publicity stunt in the ancient world, but used his 30 coins to keep the apostles alive till they woke at Pentecost.
Jesus assures me this is the true story. But it is also told in a number of the early gospels, including the Gospel of Judas, Found in the Dag Hammadi codex, and several others. These Gospels, core teachings of the Coptic Church, which scholars believe, may predate the “official”, Emperor approved sacred books, were written far away from the Roman Church and its Imperial Blood doctrine. Written by those Christian apostles who, instead of cozying up to Rome, tried to preserve the gospels true essence. Their flight to Egypt after the total destruction of Jerusalem included thousands of Jews and is well documented by the histories. If any of these Gnostic Gospels had made it to the Roman world, of course, they were burned. Like so many other true stories about Jesus, including the Gospel of Thomas, the earliest Gospel ever written, and clearly in Jesus own words, these books had to be destroyed by an avaricious Empire.
These heretical Gospels spoke about a Father/Mother God. About the sacred Feminine. About past lives and the need to clear our karmic debts. And most of all, they spoke about the greatest disciple in Jesus’ motley crew. Mary Magdalene.
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