I’m pretty sure I’m getting entirely the wrong story from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.
The story I get is: There are these two good friends, Judas and Jesus. Jesus actually has a lot of friends, twelve of them, but Judas is the one who can tell Jesus stuff the other friends won’t or can’t.
Judas and Jesus have been best friends for quite a while, know each other pretty well and, up until now, get along even better, but it’s beginning to dawn on Judas that Jesus needs Judas to do something, mmmm, kinda bad. Judas isn’t sure at first what it might be, but he’s getting the vibe it’s something he doesn’t want to be any part of.
He tries to tell Jesus about his concerns, but Jesus isn’t having it and he won’t tell Judas why. Jesus will only tell Judas, over and over, “You’ll do what you have to do.” Judas doesn’t like the sound of that. It sounds like he doesn’t have a choice.
Then he makes the mistake of calling the cops on Jesus. This seems like the right thing to do because why wouldn’t the cops want to help Judas sort Jesus out? They know what’s right and wrong, don’t they? (Is this topical right now, or what?)
Well, yes. The cops know the law, and they want to sort out Jesus, but they’re thinking more like with capitol punishment than judicial. Judas figures this out too late (although the purse full of silver should have been the tipoff) and, crushed by the realization that he’s condemned his friend to death, Judas hangs himself.
But wait! There’s more! In death, Judas learns that he was right to feel he didn’t have a choice, because he didn’t! He was set up from the beginning to be the one who literally sells out his friend. This makes him a tad bitter, and why wouldn’t it? Jesus was the best friend Judas ever had, but Judas was doomed to kick that friendship right in the teeth.
It’s one of the most heartbreaking stories I know of a friendship torn apart by events beyond the control of either one of the friends.