Matthew – God’s Purposes
In child’s games, like tag, there is a phrase that is shouted to indicate that you cannot give back or tag the person that tagged you. That helps the person tagging get farther away from you. Sound confusing? Not when you are a child who wants to win at all costs.
Judas remorsefully tries to give back the money bargained in his betrayal of Jesus. When Judas, one who walked alongside Jesus in ministry, saw Jesus bound and beaten, he wanted “take-backs” but it was too late.
“I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”, says Judas. Wow, what a poignant, incredible statement of regret and remorse. But it is too late and not enough to be sorry you got caught. All the religious elite have to say is “No take-backs”, Judas!…just like children at play. The actual statement was ““What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”
Wow. “What do we care” is where many in this world are in their thinking and behavior. Judas, not knowing or realizing who Jesus really is and why He came to earth, has no option in his practical, greedy mind but to die for his mistake.
Matthew 27, NLT
Judas Hangs Himself
27 Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. 2 Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”
“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”
5 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
6 The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” 7 After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. 8 That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. 9 This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says,
“They took the thirty pieces of silver—
the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,
10 and purchased the potter’s field,
as the Lord directed.
The payment for the betrayal and murder of Jesus was used to purchase a burial ground for “foreigners”, those defiled and unclean. We need to understand the difference between regret and remorse. Judas’s response was one of remorse and regret. The Greek word translated “repented himself” in Matthew 27:3 indicates, not a sorrow for sin that leads to a change of mind and action, but a regret at being caught, a remorse that leads to despair. Peter truly repented, and Jesus restored him. But Judas did not repent, and this led him to suicide.
WE KNOW BETTER!
No matter what we have thought, done or said, we can be redeemed from our selfishness! We do not have to die for our mistakes, our sin, and our past of living without Jesus. We can fall at the feet of Jesus, repent (like Peter) and be saved, made whole, restored to a right relationship with God, the Father who loved us first! God’s Holy Spirit steps in to live within us to help nurture and grow us as we change our way of thinking and behaving to be all God intended and created us to be in Him. Yes!
Thank you for saving our souls and making us whole. Thank you for restoration and life eternal with You. Thank you for your “growing season” here on earth that teaches us more and more about You and how life can be when it is yielded fully to You.
In Jesus Name, Amen