Matthew 27 1-10, Blog Through the Bible Project
Judas Hangs Himself
1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed.
A legal quorum. The Sanhedrin could not have a legal session at night, so at daybreak they held a special session to make the death sentence official.
2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
Pilate was the governor of Judea, and the Roman prefect under Emperor Tiberius. To maintain ultimate control, the Romans kept the death penalty under their own jurisdiction.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
Both Peter and Judas betrayed Jesus in different ways, Peter three times.
Peter weeps bitterly with sorrow for his sin. Judas in extreme despair feels that his life was no longer worth living. He returns the money, and kills himself. In his deep depression and despair he compounds his sin.
Will there be forgiveness for Judas?
Please, Lord, let there be.
One of the betrayers goes down in history as the rock on whom Christ will build his church. The other’s name becomes a synonym for betrayal.
What is the difference? One difference I see is the Judas focuses on himself, rather than on Christ. “I have sinned, I have betrayed innocent blood,” he says. Peter betrays Christ out of instinctive fear, not self-interested calculation. He is undone by a glance from Christ. He goes and weeps bitterly because he betrayed the one he loved so much. Christ sees the love, forgives the fear, and gently reinstates him.
Perhaps if Judas had really known Christ, he would have known that there is forgiveness even for the one who sold his friend for 30 pieces of silver.
6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
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