The Ballad of the Judas Tree

This poem was offered through song at church on Sunday. I have never considered the fate of Judas when Jesus descended into Hell; that Jesus as the “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3) first identified with Judas’s pain and sin and redeemed the one who had betrayed him the most. What a comfort to know that the love and grace of Jesus extends far beyond anything we do or are. He takes us down from our own tree of sin and despair to restore us to Himself.
+From: Marilyn Vancil

The Ballad of the Judas Tree
By Dorothea Ruth Etchells

In Hell there grew a Judas Tree
Where Judas hanged and died
Because he could not bear to see
His master crucified
Our Lord descended into Hell
And found his Judas there
Forever hanging on the tree
Grown from his own despair
So Jesus cut his Judas down
And took him in his arms
“It was for this I came,” he said,
“And not to do your harm.
My Father gave me twelve good men
And all of them I kept
Though one betrayed and one denied
Some fled and others slept.
In three days’ time I must return
To make the others glad
But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had
My tree will grow in place of yours
Its roots lie here as well
There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell.”
So when we all condemn him
As of every traitor worst
Remember that of all his men
Our Lord forgave him first.