“Judas” is a Greek form of Judah, a Hebrew word meaning “praised.” Iscariot would represent a man from the city near Hebron in southern Judea called Keriot Josh 15:25; Amos 2:2. Ish is a Hebrew word meaning “man,” hence Ish-Cariot, “man from Keriot.”
Why Rabbi Yeshua Chose Judas
The first thing to remember about Judas Iscariot is that Rabbi Yeshua chose him to be a shaliakh. Rabbi Kefa tells us that Judas “was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry” Acts 1:17. Benedict observes that, “Jesus had chosen this man and trusted him” (p. 118). Rabbi Yeshua’s parable of the weeds and the wheat Mt 13:24–30 partly explains why Rabbi Yeshua kept Judas in the line-up.
But there is a larger reason: Rabbi Yeshua wanted everyone to know that the Church he would soon institute was his Church. He knew it would appeal to demon-driven men who would try to subvert it, and he wanted to reassure his faithful that he will be with us always Mt 28:20.
And one still larger. It has been widely observed that Satan recognized Rabbi Yeshua from their first encounter during the War in Heaven. He concluded that if Rabbi Yeshua had become incarnate his mission must be extremely important, and that he had to stop it without knowing what it was. Satan arranged to have Rabbi Yeshua killed, and by a method so humiliating that no one would ever follow him after that. Satan thought his plan worked perfectly, until Rabbi Yeshua’s death on the Cross, when he realized the Crucifixion, enabled by Judas Iscariot, was the mission.
Rabbi Yeshua is doing the same thing again. Look again at § 677: The Church has to go through this final Passover to enter the glory of heaven. The Catholics who intend to betray Holy Mother Church are helping to crucify her, not realizing that the Church, with us her faithful, needs her own Crucifixion to pass through her own death and Resurrection. Once again, Rabbi Yeshua is using Satan‘s forces to accomplish his final victory over the revolt of evil, the glory to come.
Whether Judas is in Hell
Did Judas end up in hell? We do not know.
Holy Mother Church has never firmly declared that a particular person has gone to hell. During the Last Supper Rabbi Yeshua told his shlikhim, “The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born” Mt 26:24. In the absence of sacramental absolution, such a powerful statement could only mean hell.
Rabbi Yeshua’s first words from the Cross were, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Lk 23:34. Did this include Judas? § 1857 “For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” Did Judas have full knowledge of the consequences at the time he betrayed Rabbi Yeshua? Consider Mt 27:3. Rabbi Yeshua had forgiven those who “knew not what they did.” If Judas was included, we may conclude that he is in purgatory or heaven.
If not, he still had one more chance. § 1446 “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as the second plank of salvation after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.”
The essential conditions, then as now, are § 1448 contrition, confession, and satisfaction. Judas confessed his sin and tried to make restitution. “When Judas, his betrayer, saw that he was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, ‘I have sinned in betraying innocent blood’” Mt 27:3–4. He was contrite [“he repented”], confessed [“I have sinned …”], and made satisfaction [“brought back the thirty pieces of silver”].
However, no ordinary man, in the absence of a connection to Rabbi Yeshua through the apostolic succession, can forgive sins. The chief priests did not even try. “See to it yourself” Mt 27:4. It might depend on whether Judas knew he had to confess § 1441 to Rabbi Yeshua. Dismas confessed his sin to Rabbi Yeshua, asked him to forgive Lk 23:40–42, and received absolution Lk 23:43. Even today, when a priest hears a sacramental confession § 1548 he acts in persona Christi Capitis, in the person of Christ the Head [of the Church].
Did Judas know? We can expect so. He was a shaliakh. He had been exposed to the full teaching that Rabbi Yeshua had given the shlikhim for the deposit of faith. Perhaps he knew but was so fearful that he did not dare approach Rabbi Yeshua.
(I’m so glad we can’t judge one another’s souls. Rabbi Yeshua does that for us. Thanks be to God!)