The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
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When I first read this play more than ten years ago, I was struck by one of the central questions posed by the play as a whole: Are we as human beings justified in judging people?
Often we make judgments about a person, and perhaps their actions, when there may be circumstances that are unknown to us.
How much do we really know about Judas Iscariot besides he was a disciple, he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and he committed suicide by hanging?
Many Christians believe that Judas is in Hell and is unredeemable because he committed an unforgivable sin.
However, what do people base those beliefs on? No one alive has spoken to Judas or anyone who knew him, so why do people base judgments on so little information? Have we heard something about someone either from another person or in the media that encourages judgments to be made, or even seen someone we do not know and made a judgment based on their appearance?
People throughout history have been judged based on one or a few actions or decisions made that define the totality of their person.
I ask us to consider our own actions and reflect on whether we want the world to judge us based on a few decisions we made during our lifetime.
The question of how we judge others is just one of the questions posed by this play. I asked the cast at the beginning of the rehearsal process their thoughts about this play, and their responses were, to say the least, varied and thoughtful.
One cast member commented that the play asks many more questions than it ever intends to answer, and that, I believe, is one of the strengths of this play.
There may be some material that some find objectionable in this play and how it is told.
My hope is that we try and look beyond those issues to some important questions the play poses that will inspire consideration of our views on judgment, forgiveness, acceptance, and a host of other subject matters questioned by this often hysterical, but ultimately thought-provoking, play.