Today is Spy Wednesday.
If you’re a theologicophile, you may already know that Wednesday during Holy Week is called that because today’s Gospel reading, taken from Matthew 26:14-25, recounts the story of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Judas is the spy.
Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, and said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him.
In last Sunday’s Fox Network presentation of “The Passion,” Chris Daughtry played a contemporary Judas. From what I’ve read, many reviewers thought Daughtry, in his black leather jacket, was the performance’s star– belting out his angst and despair in his role as Jesus’ betrayer.
It was my privilege to interview Chris Daughtry and other stars last Friday in New Orleans. I began our conversation by remarking, “Well, you play the bad guy….” Daughtry was quick to correct me; immersed as he was in the role, he saw the flaws, the fear, the insecurity that drove Judas to betray his Lord, and he had compassion for his flawed character. “He’s not all bad,” he told me. “I mean, really….”
In our conversation, Daughtry revealed that the most difficult moment of the production, at least for him, was when he had to betray Jesus with a kiss. Judas was by that action changing the course of human history; and Daughtry felt the full weight of that moment.
In case you missed it, here are the articles I’ve published in other places: At Aleteia, I posted my interview with Adam Anders, executive producer, a truly gifted man whose Christian faith led him to aspire to success with this project. The National Catholic Register published two of my articles: an interview with host/narrator Tyler Perry, and a report on the “After-Passion” event at St. Louis Cathedral.
And in case you missed the broadcast, it’s now available via Fox.com or Netflix.
And here, the scene in which a troubled Judas (Chris Daughtry) betrays Jesus (Jencarlos Canela). It’s one of the most intense and moving scenes in the two-hour broadcast.