I’ve always thought The Beatles song, Ticket To Ride, fit the story of Judas, as it captures Jesus’ sentiment. Slightly altered lyrics can read:
I think I’m gonna be sad, I think it’s today, yeah.
Judas that’s driving me mad, is going away.
He’s got a ticket to ride, he’s got a ticket, he’s got a ticket to ride,
But he don’t care.
When everything around you appears to be falling apart, your survival instincts kick into full gear and your inclinations turn towards the self. Judas’ world (and the Jewish world) was breaking down politically, socially, religiously, and economically. As the Temple started to collapse, so did his faith. Judas represents a hopeless resignation to a system too big to defeat. So, he bought a “ticket to ride” out of his relationship with Jesus because he failed to recognize God in the flesh. But those who recognized that Christ was in fact reclining with them were given something far greater than 30 pieces of silver. They were given the Kingdom of God.
—Mark Chang is a Theology Teacher and the Director of the New Teacher Induction Program at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.