Today I had the pleasure of one of my students asking me what MY favorite part of Easter is. Love it when they ask me for my opinion. My favorite part? The surprise. That first Easter morning wasn’t full of the expectation and joy we experience now… the disciples were AFRAID, huddled in a dark room, let down by their rabbi, and uncertain of what to do next… and then Jesus shows up (literally), and just says “Peace be with you.” I can see the smile on his face, I can hear that first nervous laugh, and then everything breaks lose… HE IS ALIVE!!!

That’s my favorite part. The surprise. The hope that springs from fear. The joy that can only be known AFTER the terror. The gratitude that can only come from knowing what it would be like to have been alone.

I was also asked today whether or not I felt Judas went to Hell for his betrayal. Not an easy-answer question, that’s for sure. I am no judge of person’s hearts, and certainly could imagine that Judas went for years as a disciple while “faking it” the whole time. Perhaps he himself even believed he was a follower, but in his heart, he never gave up control. I can see that. I’ve faked it before. So have you, I’ll bet. On the other hand, I think we all have moments of weakness where we betray our Lord, whether in thought or deed. How deep that betrayal goes is certainly a matter of the heart, but needless to say, I as a Christian am fully capable of making a spuratic decision that’s effects would far outweigh my understanding of what I did. So I don’t know. And it’s not much of my business. My business is checking my own heart, my own sincerity, and matching my walk to my talk.

Did I mention that I love it when my students ask my opinion? My REAL opinion? Not my Sunday School opinion but my opinion as a person, as a fellow traveller.