A HAPPY EASTER STORY
Yehuda the Sicariote (Judas to the gentiles) had come up with a great plan! When the army came to arrest Yoshua Ben Josef (Jesus to the gentiles) he would kiss "him" and they would all go home, cross the sea, in Sicily near Messina and practice moneylending. So Yoshua sent Yehuda to the Sinhandrin and revealed to the head honcho that he would kiss Yoshua on the mouth and that would be that. I must be remembered that all of Yoshua's friends were swarthy, suntanned men ,average height and reddish-brown beards. They looked like a convention of rabbis. In addition to the inner twelve, there were several camp followers, both men and women so it was easy to select the lamb.
The Jewish court had paid the equivalent of thirty thousand dollars to Yehuda and now he must deliver. Judas went over to some poor schmuck and kissed him. The soldiers pounced on him, bound him up with ropes and dragged him away to the place of execution (on a pole, not on a cross- the Romans used poles) and we all know how the story ends.
Judas did in fact "hang himself on a fig tree" but it was three feet tall, and only to comply with Jewish Law requiring an act of repentance. These were men who lived by their wit, outcasts, so this story is plausible. In the end what does it matter who died for our sins. Who was crucified. Did he rise from the "dead"? Of course he did, we all will. When he was spotted several times after his "crucifixion" and entombement, it WAS Jesus, saying his goodbyes before he embarked for Messina.
Our prayers should go out every day to the real victims of crucifixion: the dispossessed, to the poor, to the suffering christs. He was never accepted as the Jewish Messia. Perhaps the Jewish Messiah would not resort to this treachery and save his life by offering up another life, mortem tuam, vitam meam. But none of its matters. Faith overlooks and forgives everything, because Faith need not be historically founded : Faith, Love, Devotion, strict orthodox Observance---they are all attempts to make sense of what we do not understand. NOTE: THIS IS A FICTIONAL NOTE AND NOT INTENDED TO LESSEN FAITH.
For it is written "better he were born with a millstone around his neck and drowned at birth than to question faith and scandalize the believers"