The truth is that we human beings seem to feel two needs in dire circumstances: the need to have some malevolent force to blame, one that is relatively weak and capable of being overcome; and the need to believe that a higher benevolent power is in control. And while such resonances continue to make for powerful storytelling, when it comes to real life, it is time for humans (and for our religious traditions) to begin to accept that this view of things is ultimately self-contradictory and thus unstable. If the death and resurrection of John Locke or Jesus of Nazareth are foreordained, then neither the one who tries in vain to prevent the inevitable, nor the one who maliciously brings it about, has any guilt. The answer in this case is “D: It is written”.
In these stories we also need a Judas or a Benjamin Linus for another reason. Could we have continued to view John Locke positively if he killed himself? The notion that Jesus essentially committed suicide would also trouble most Christians, and yet there is a sense in which publicly proclaiming the kingdom of God in Caesar’s kingdom might be considered “suicidal”. We feel a need for Judas to betray Jesus, and for Ben to kill John rather than for John to kill himself, so that their deaths can be considered necessary, inevitable, perhaps even salvific – but not, ultimately, self-inflicted.