The Potter's Ground

I never should have been so greedy he thought. He looked down at his hands. They felt dirty even though he had washed them only a few minutes ago. Absent-mindedly he rubbed his palms against his legs.

  He was busy thinking back on the events of the last couple of days. All his friends hated him now he was sure of that. No one liked him. No one likes someone who loves money more than his best friends, he mused.

It had seemed like a foolproof plan at the time. He would be paid to lead the authorities to a wanted man. How could that be wrong? Just because that man trusted you how did that make you some sort of traitor?

 Besides they had told him they only wanted to ask some questions. They had promised no harm would come to anyone. How was he to know that an angry mob would demand his friend's life? Besides if he was who he said he was how could they possibly kill him? But he knew now it would happen.

His stomach turned at the thought, he had betrayed someone who loved him more than anyone else had ever loved him. He knew no one would ever love him like his friend had. He had sold the most humble, and loving person he had ever met for thirty pieces of silver.

He almost gagged at the thought of the silver. He hated money now. It had only taken a matter of hours to make the thing he loved more than anything in the world into something that made him so miserable that he took the blood money to the temple and cast it down at the altar.

He remembered one of the old men sitting in the congregation looking at him with disgust, and saying, "You better keep that money son. You'll need it to buy your way into hell."

Judas shuddered at the thought. Was he really doomed to hell? He buried his face in his hands and wept violently. "God" he cried, "Please forgive me. I didn't understand what was going to happen. I never meant for it to go this far." His body shook violently with the bitter tears of rejected repentance.

Suddenly he stopped weeping. He knew what he must do. The thought felt like an icy finger running down his spine. He shuddered, if Jesus had to die on a tree than so would he.

A few minutes later he was ready. He had his rope tied to the limb of the large tree he had climbed. He felt empty inside, sort of like he wasn't even a real person. Like all of this was just someone else's bad dream. "God forgive me for what I did and what I am about to do." he whispered, and then he jumped.

Two soldiers found him there in the morning. There was a crumpled note clutched in his cold fingers. When they pried it out it read, "I now know the value of a true friend" and it was signed, Judas Iscariot.

"What should we do with him?" The first soldier asked. "I think the Pharisees just bought the potter's field to bury the poor in." The other soldier replied. "Well, he doesn't have any money in his purse so I guess he qualifies" was the grim response.

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