I recently heard a story about a boy who asked an Orthodox Priest if he could pray for Judas’ salvation.
The priest looked at the boy, smiled, leaned down, and responded, “Yes, of course!”
When he looked up and caught the concerned and questioning gaze of the boy’s parents, he stood and whispered, “I don’t know what it could mean for Judas, but it will be very good for your boy.”
I love this story for a couple of reasons. First, the priest empowered the young fella to steward a reconciling heart in alignment with our heavenly Father’s heart “that none should perish.”
Second, he protected the boy’s heart from aligning with the punishing sin-counting mindset of the older brother in the parable of The Prodigal Son—the fella who willfully opposed his father’s heart of forgiveness and reconciliation toward his younger brother.
When I heard this story, I realized that many years ago, long before I’d answered that young woman’s question on Facebook, I’d decided to be like that priest. I’d decided Greater Love is in the business of reconciliation—forever—and I would align my affections with this ultimate Love.
So, when asked, “Can I pray for Judas,” or, “Can I be saved after I die?” or, “Can I place my hope in a God who reconciles?” I answer earnestly, “Yes, of course!”
Not because I know what it could mean for Judas or anyone else who has passed on, but because I’m convinced reconciling love is the ultimate truth Jesus revealed about the heart of our Father; because I’m convinced love transcends dimensions of time and space, even if I can’t understand it yet. Because I’ve made Greater Love the Cornerstone of my faith—it’s where I’ve placed my trust.
And as I near age 50, I’m discovering that aligning my affections with Jesus’ affections in this life, and for the next, is the joy of my salvation. The same joy that sustained Jesus through the hellish lie of separation He experienced on His way to and through the cross—a hell He exposed and defeated—forever.
This article is excerpted from my book, Leaving and Finding Jesus
Chapter Ten: Yes, I Sure Hope So