Many years ago I wrote a musical about Judas. The musical asked questions about forgiveness, and whether Judas himself, if he had sought out Jesus, would have found forgiveness as Peter did, or are there limits to God's grace.
I believe Judas is in heaven.
When he saw what his act of betrayal had done, he threw the silver back at the Priests, aware that his actions would cause the death of an innocent man. Judas could not see past the cross to the empty tomb. None of the disciples could. But unlike Peter and the other disciples, Judas was unable to bear the shame of what he had done. His act of repentance had nobody to speak absolution to him, if only he had held out until sunday.
On Good Friday we remember a mysterious act that offered Forgiveness to the world. Each of us were forgiven 2000 years ago on a hill outside of Jerusalem - but for many of us, the weight of our shame feels heavier than the weight of God's Grace. All we can see is a cross, a death caused by our actions, rather than an empty tomb caused by God's grace.
We are no different to Judas...
...and God offers to all of us the chance to come home.
In the musical, Judas asks Jesus what he would have said to him if he had returned like Peter to ask forgiveness. It took me 9 months to write the lyrics of that song, and it is one of my lyrics that I am most proud of because it honestly states what I believe at a deep level.
Judas is hiding in all of us, and yet we are afraid to go looking for him because we are worried that he is unforgivable.
Listen to this song, and let its invitation call the 'Judas in you' out into the light.
Beyond the cross is and empty tomb!