Tonight we will read verses 1-10 of Matthew 27. Jesus has been handed over from the chief priests to Pontius Pilate, the governor.
At the same time we are shown Judas, who after he led the mob to Jesus the previous night, now realizes that Jesus knew that he would betray Him all along. This shame compels Judas to attempt to give the money back to the chief priests and elders, but they will not take it back. Judas is a picture of faith that can still act sinfully: “saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” Event though Judas had faith in Christ, he still betrayed Him.
But this attempt to remove his sin or the blame is not enough to quench Judas’s guilt because the chief priests and elders do not accept it, after which Judas throws the money in the temple and runs away to commit suicide by hanging. Judas had tried to reverse the affects of his betrayal by telling the men that Jesus was innocent, but they did not care. They would not listen and instead iterated to Judas that whatever had happened as the result of his betrayal to Jesus was his own fault.
According to prophecy in Zechariah 11:12-13, the money was spent to buy a potter’s field. The field was used to bury strangers.
If Judas had gone to Jesus and seek repentance, there is little doubt that Jesus would have accepted him. Remember Jesus’s words in Matthew 18:21-22: “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” But instead of seeking repentance, Judas was destined to seek peace in the wrong fashion. Choosing to end one’s own life is never the right choice and Judas gave in to the temptation by believing that it was his only way out.
When we let shame and regret get the better of us, we can make poor decisions that worsen our condition. Tonight I challenge you to seek and freely receive the forgiveness of sins offered by God through Jesus Christ. Once we turn or loves over to Him in baptism, our old self dies and we become a new person. Jesus’s blood and sacrifice afford us the forgiveness of a lifetime of sins. To wallow in guilt and be hard on ourselves over the past is not the answer.
Christ is the answer. God’s perfect grace is the answer. When you seek Him and repent, He will always receive you.