By Cordell and Janice Vail

07 Sep 2003

Copyright 2003 by Cordell Vail, all rights reserved

A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail

Did Christ Need Judas?

From time to time I get letters from people who have seen my web page and ask me questions about the church. I though you might find this one interesting. It is a letter from a man who lives in Belgium. He is an Atheist and read my Sunday Sermon about Judas. Here is the letter he wrote to me and the answer I sent back to him.



Subj: Your Ssunday Sermon article about JUDAS on the 1st of June 2003

Well I just read and printed your sermon about JUDAS, I do not beleive in God BUT I do have a lot of interests in learning and especially UNDERSTANDING all kinds of religion-related subjects. For exemple, about Judas, beleive it or not but my search for an article about him was after seeing DRACULA 2000 wichtells in short that Judas became the first vampire ( thats just for you to understand the point of vieuw that I'm about to express ... )

There is one sentence in the movie that cought my attention, at the end Judas says to Jezus " YOU NEEDED ME ! "

it might sound a bit strange to say that but do you have an opinion about God ( Jezus ) needing Judas to fullfill what He had in mind for his son ???? In that case, the lot of money that Judas earned might have been some kind of present from God for having to do such a thing ( this of course IF and only IF judas wasn't any traitor but knew he HAD to do it ...... ) some kind of godly reward for haviong to betrayhis mentor, friend, whatever ...

Of course you can skip the part where Judas becomes a Vampire wich is ( till now ) still some creature from our imagination ....( maybe not who knows... )

If you have any opinion about this or any article about this subject please tell me. Best regards

From Belgium



Thanks for writing to me and sharing your ideas with me. What an interesting concept.

I assume you saw from my web page that I am a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Obviously I do believe that there is a God or I would not be publishing that web page. So I guess that gives us some common ground to start our discussions.

I guess first of all when you feel that you do not believe in God then all of this related to Jesus and Judas is just an enactment of characters in a play of life unrelated to the next life. It would be a little hard for me to have any honest opinion about Jesus needing Judas in a plot in life that he was just living out as a man here on the earth if there was no life after death or no God.

But consider this rather similar interesting thought. If for some reason we all find out in the end when we wake up over on the other side of death that there really is a life after death and that there is a God there, that would bring up another very interesting scenario similar to the Judas question. If that is the case that there is a life after death, then we can also ask this question, “Does GOD need SATAN?”

If there was a God and He did have a plan for His children here on the earth (or earths... why would he only have one?) then how could God have this plan of life without a Satan to tempt people to do wrong?

So in that same sense as our asking if Jesus would need a Judas in his life, we can also ask that same question of God himself (if He exists). Would God not need Satan too? Is Satan really a bad guy if he is a necessary part of that plan of life and brings about our gift of having our free agency to chose right from wrong (the primary principle of God's Plan). How could we chose right from wrong if there were no "BAD ANGELS" to tempt us to do wrong in that plan. If they are needed in the plan then are they really "BAD" or are they a necessary part of the actors in the play of life? Are the bad guys really bad if they are needed in the plan? That is an interesting thought that you propose.

That is the same question then as with Judas. How much did Jesus need him? I don’t know. The answer to that question, I think, depends more on who you think Jesus was. Was he just a preacher who made people so mad they wanted to kill him? Or was he Jesus the Christ who was the Son of God who had the power to rise from the dead after he was crucified? I think there is so much missing from the story in the Bible that we maybe have 10% of the real story. I can not believe that the Sanhedrin leaders were so stupid that they did not know who Jesus was and needed Judas to kiss him on the cheek so they would know who he was. They hated Him. They followed him around and argued with Him in public debates. They wanted to kill him. That is to me a stretch of the story to think they needed an insider to point out to them who Jesus was. Why would they pay him a small fortune to do that when they could send some spy to just ask some one for free? I think that there is more likely a Jewish tradition related to kissing on the cheek that was a seal of a witness against someone rather than a means of identification (just my opinion).

So when you say did Jesus need Judas, I think there is much of that story we do not know. Why would he betray him? I don’t know. What does Betray mean? I think it is a part of a much bigger story we do not have in the Bible. It says nothing in the Bible about Judas being a witness against Jesus.

60 pieces of silver was a fortune in that day and age. They would not have paid him that much money just to identify him. They could have paid some poor high school kid 10 mites to do it if they just needed to know who this outspoken rebel was. That amount of money they paid Judas is very significant and tells me there is a lot more to this story than just someone identifying someone for them for money by a kiss on the cheek.

So we have to ask ourselves, if he had not been betrayed would they not have been able to convict him and crucify him? Isn’t it more likely that they need an insider as a witness against him to accomplish that? To me that is more likely. In that sense if Jesus could not have been hung on the cross if he had not been betrayed, then he would not have been able to die and raise on the 3rd day as a resurrected being. So yes if that part of the divine story is true, then in that sense he needed Judas to betray him if that is what was needed for him to be crucified.

Trouble with that line of thought is that if you do not believe there is a God then you also surely do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God nor a supernatural being who had power to rise from the dead and be the first person to be resurrected. You therefore would have no reason to believe that Jesus needed Judas because you would not believe that Jesus actually was able to bring himself back from the dead as a resurrected being that could walk and talk with the Apostles as the Bible says. So then Judas was just a tormentor, a bad apple in the barrel if Jesus was just a normal man. Judas in that case then would just be someone who Jesus could add to the list of those who hated him but would be on no actual or lasting consequence concerning his life.

So that makes it a doubly interesting question because if Jesus did need Judas that is to me a witness that Jesus is the Christ and Savior of the world as he claimed and that there is a God in heaven who is his Father.

You mentioned that there is talk that Judas was the first Vampire. Another point like the vampire thing is about CAIN. He is the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Able. There is much tradition about him still being alive (in a sense like a vampire). Many churches teach that he walks the earth to this day as a vagabond. Many people over the years have claimed to have seen him as a dark, hairy gorilla looking man.

So again if there is no life after death then I would say that there could be no way a person could live on as a vampire, or vagabond (like Cain). But if there is a life after death and our spirit continues to live after our mortal body dies, why couldn’t that sprit person appear to humans again after death? I believe that much of the belief people have about vampires, werewolfs, Cain, Big Foot and other such beings are actually real.

I believe that they are spirits from the other life after death (many people call them Evil Spirits) who are able to appear in those forms to scare people. Do I believe in vampires who suck blood out of someone’s neck? No. Do I believe in Satan? Yes. Do I believe that Satan or one of the spirits that follow him could appear as a vampire and scare someone and make them think they are sucking blood or other such things? YES! Do I believe there are humans who become so obsessed with vampires that they actually become vampires and drink blood? Yes I know there are. Many of them. Some join what are called "Satanic cults" and do that. When I was head of the neighborhood crime watch in Utah years ago we confronted some of them in our area. They actually killed people and drank their blood and believed with all their hears that they were vampires. I guess when they killed people and drank their blood they were. But they were not able to keep doing it after we put them in prison so that sort of popped their bubble of eternal life as a vampire.

And so I don’t think that all the vampire and werewolf stories are totally fabricated. I think there are living people who actually do it and also spirits on the other side of the veil of life that are evil who can come back to this veil of life and appear to people here and make it appear that they are doing things like that to scare people or make them believe in it.

I also believe in good angels who can appear to us for good and help us (experience talking in both cases here).

So now I guess we could go on to talk about whether there are aliens from other worlds. Are there? I honestly do not know but I believe that we are not the only world in the vast universe. I believe that there are other worlds that have people on them just like this one out there. I in fact believe that there are 1000’s of other worlds that are peopled just like this world is. Why would this be the only one? That would be preposterous for me to even think that when we know there are billions of universes just like this one this is the only one with life residing in it.

If you would have told Christopher Columbus that we could walk on the moon what do you think he would have thought? He could not even have carried on a conversation with you about it. He would have had no way to even conceive what a rocket ship was or how you could have the ability as a man to be inside of something that would travel through the air and could fly around the world in less than an hour. How could he understand that with his mind and education? Yet he was one of the smartest men on the earth in his day and age.

If we advance as much in the next 100 years as we have in the last 100, could we travel in space? Of course, we could. We already do. Could we visit other worlds that have people on them? Yes, I think that is very possible that we could. Will we? I simply do not know but if we did then we would be the aliens wouldn’t we?

Something to think about any way.

I enjoy talking to people who are atheist because at least you have thought about things enough to have decided what you really do believe. Most people are just agnostic. It is not important to them. To me life after death is more important than anything else on this earth. If there is a life after death and we are not willing to prepare for it, that would be like denying that there is a University and refusing to go to school saying that there is no need for education in this life because no one else on the farm we are living on has ever been to the university or ever received an education.

I will get my Eternal Education (JUST IN CASE)... ha ha ha

Hope we can share other ideas...

Your cyber friend in Seattle Washington, USA

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NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.