It came to pass that after Judas hung himself for betraying Jesus, he found himself standing before God in heaven. Terrified that God was going to send him to hell for such an egregious sin, he fell on his face crying out, “Please Lord, have mercy on me!”

God replies softly, “What are you worried about my dear son. You have done a great thing. You have played a key role in the salvation of the world. By delivering Jesus into the hands of his killers you have made it possible for the sins of the world to be forgiven. My will could not have been accomplished without you.”

Shocked by this, Judas slowly stands and asks, “But . . . I was tempted by the devil to betray him. I was paid thirty pieces of silver to do so. I’m a horrible man!”

“No,” God smiles reassuringly, “You are a great man. I made the devil tempt you to take that blood money.”

Judas is perplexed, “But I thought you would never tempt anyone to do evil.”

God replies, “You’re right, I wouldn’t. This wasn’t evil. It was my good will that he should suffer and die. It was also my good will that you should betray him. Nothing is out of my control dear one. Do you have such little faith in me that you would doubt my power and wisdom in this matter?”

Judas finds himself disturbed by God’s words. “But that would mean that you betrayed Jesus too. He was an innocent man, your own son no less, and you allowed him to be brutally murdered. You abandoned him in his hour of need. What kind of a father are you?!”

Enraged at Judas’ words, God thunders, “How dare you judge me! I offered you heaven and eternal rewards and you respond with this insolence and betrayal. I condemn you now to hell, forever!”

With this, Judas screams and disappears. Over the next few hours, God sits on his throne, seething in anger and replaying in his mind Judas’ words over and over again. He eventually calms and comes to believe that maybe Judas had a point. Finally, days later, overcome by grief and guilt for the death of both Jesus and Judas, God finds a tree in one of heaven’s many gardens and hangs himself.

Story: Aaron Van Voorhis
Music: Sara Afonso

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