Judas is in hell. Jesus in not in hell to save Judas who wants to be in hell, and would kill Jesus again so as to remain in hell. Let’s see:
- As it is said: Judas went to his own place, which is hell. [I wouldn’t want that said of me.]
- As it is said: better for that man if he had never been born. [I wouldn’t want that said of me.]
- As it is said: he is the son of perdition. [I wouldn’t want that said of me.]
Unlike the other Apostles, Judas’ very office of Apostleship was removed from among the twelve. Another office of Apostleship was created and filled by the Holy Spirit. Matthias is one of the original twelve, so to speak. There are no successor bishops for Judas. He and his office of Apostleship were cut off – anathema – sent to hell. Gone, forever.
Judas is not a saint nor will he ever be a saint.
To say that Christ descended to hell to preach to Judas in prison, you know, to evangelize him, to have mercy on him, to bring him to heaven, is blasphemy, heresy, turning the faith and justice and mercy inside-out, upside-down, back-to-front.
I could go on. But why? There is plenty of commentary on all this throughout the Scriptures and in what we call the sensus fidelium.
I, for one, do not want to be distracted by darkness and ambiguity, the unleashing of hell… no… especially not during the Octave of Easter!
But just knowing there is such darkness and scandal, I beg the Lord: “How long?” This idiocy about “Saint Judas” started decades ago. I witnessed one of the main events bringing this to the academic world. I don’t want to give it space.
However, we have to deal in some way with what is before us. Just using the phrase “Scandal of Mercy” grants one bully-rights, a fake moral high-ground, superiority, the arrogance of the one having such condescending humility that only he will advocate for a mercy against justice. How courageous! How heroic!
But this is not Jesus’ mercy. That is the Islamicist view of mercy, which rejects that mercy is founded on justice, rejects altogether that the Son of God had to take on the punishment for sin that we deserve, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. The Islamicists think – ever so unreasonably – that Allah is most merciful apart from justice, apart from reason.
Mercy cut off from justice leads instantly to cynicism, therefore to frustration, therefore to violence, to throwing it all back in Allah’s face, strapping kids with bombs and having them commit suicide like Judas while murdering others. Yep. Don’t think Catholics can’t be just as wicked. Catholics can choose to remain apart from the truth, therefore apart from justice, therefore apart from mercy.
As it is, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice as we read in Aquinas’ Commentary on the Sentences. No justice, no mercy. If Jesus doesn’t take on what we deserve for sin, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, He will have no right in His own justice to have mercy on us. It’s the justice that makes the mercy credible.
God will respect our usage of free will. After all, that’s only just, for God created us to use our free will. Judas chose what he chose. God respects that. Judas is not only not going to be rescued from hell, Judas would spit upon such a possibility: Judas does not want to be rescued from hell. Those who are in hell want to be there.
If Christ were to sin against His own creation by disrespecting the free will He Himself gave to Judas, and then went all giggly to hell to help Judas, well then, Judas, still wanting to be in hell, would have the right to set about killing Jesus once again, for, having sinned by disrespecting the very free will with which Jesus created us, Jesus would no longer be God. But it is impossible for God to sin. Jesus did not and does not help Judas in hell; Jesus did not and does not nor will He ever bring Judas to heaven. No. Jesus is God and will always be God, and He will respect the choices we have made with our free will. If we freely choose to be apart from sanctifying grace, if we freely choose to go to hell, Jesus will respect that. And believers rejoice in mercy founded on justice, and love to see justice put into action over against those who have freely chosen to reject mercy as founded on justice.
If mercy that is founded on justice is a scandal for the Jews because of rejecting that the Messiah is to be the Suffering Servant…. if mercy that is founded on justice is foolishness for the rest of the nations because of their foolish cutting mercy off from justice… then so be it.
But mercy that is based on justice is no scandal. People are a scandal to themselves by running after a mercy cut off from justice.
There are those who “proof-text” that Judas is not in hell because Jesus called Judas friend, but that was to give Judas one last chance at repentance, one last chance to break down in tears even after just having given Jesus the kiss of death. Nope. Judas rejected this friendship. He went to His own place. Then Jesus faced all of hell for those who assent in His grace to receive redemption unto salvation. Praise the Lord.
The Lord is risen and He has appeared to Simon Peter! Alleluia!