Are you getting more used to the country yet, or are you still anxious to get back to the city? If it is any consolation, the prospect of revolution appears over, so it should be safe to return any time. To be honest, this may even go down as one of the quietest festivals on record. Once rumours of the events following the crucifixion began to circulate there was a noticeable cooling of the atmosphere. It certainly must have come as a shock to the High Priest that he did not stay dead! Anyway, things are decidedly subdued and there is even rumour that the Legion will leave early this year. Praise God!
This may come as a surprise, in view of my previous euphoria, but after my last letter I became quite depressed for a while. The wait for the Spirit had been longer than we expected and all that time got me thinking about Judas – he was one of my closest friends, after all. So, it is not just that he betrayed Jesus, but I felt betrayed too. I think we all felt it. After all, we all cared for him and I am sure he cared for us too, so none of us can quite believe what happened. I just want to grab him by the collar and demand an explanation, but that isn’t going to happen. It looks as though the rumours I told you about him last time are true, although the various stories don’t quite tie up, it is fairly certain that he is dead – and at his own hand.
Anyway, it has made my head spin. I was beginning to think I would go mad, but fortunately your brother did not go mad -though, no doubt, you may beg to differ! Anyway, John got me thinking on a different track. Judas was his friend too, but one day he made a comment that, “Knowing all, Jesus would have forgiven him.” It was a throw away line, but it had never crossed my mind before. Yet the more I thought about it the more certain I was that John was right. Jesus would have forgiven him. But it was more than that. When John said it, it was as though I physically felt the enormity of what Judas had done as a heavy weight that would crush me, but then I sensed Jesus love, and it was gone. I knew Jesus had forgiven. The crime had been weighed in a balance and, great as it was, it was as nothing to the love of Jesus. Jesus loved Judas, even when he was being betrayed! I just wished Judas could have understood that. If he had, then he might have been back with us, waiting for the Spirit Jesus promised. But such is not to be. It seems that he lost sight of Jesus and it all became too much, driving him half mad. So unnecessary.
Anyway, this parchment is nearly full so I will bring this to a close with one final bit of news. Peter and the leaders decided to appoint a new leader to bring the number back up to twelve – and they chose me! Actually, it was done by lot so this is not too much to brag about and I came in for some ribbing afterwards as the most unlikely leader imaginable! Still, even I could see the funny side. Anyway, I really am out of space now, so the rest will have to wait until you are back.
Love to the family,