Judas Has His Own Problems

Matthew 27:1-10

Peter is having a bad night, but he isn’t the only one having remorse for his betrayal; Judas is having a worse night. When Jesus was condemned by the Jewish leaders in a classic act of perfidy against God, Judas is suddenly filled with remorse for his betrayal of Jesus. He went back to the chief priests and an exchange takes place that is nothing sort of incredible:

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.” (27:3-4)

The chief priest had what they wanted, they couldn’t care less either for Judas or for righteousness that they prided themselves on and went out of their way to show off in public. Judas threw the money into the temple and then went out and committed suicide, so great was his remorse. Yet were the chief priests having second thoughts about these events? Well actually, yes they were:

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.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. (27:6-7)

Yes sir, the chief priests did have some second thoughts; they couldn’t return the money to the treasury, for that would be unlawful!

Just let this sink in for a moment…

It wouldn’t seem that they had any problem with condemning an innocent man to death; their long awaited Messiah, no less, but they wanted to be sure they handled the returned bribe according to the rules, and they used it to buy real estate.

The sheer magnitude of their perfidy is almost incomprehensible.

What makes this even more incredible is that their action fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah (See Zech. 11:12,13; Jer. 19:1-13; 32:6-9). Are not the chief priests the very ones who should have known this?

Yes, of all of the people they should have known what they were doing, and in fact, since they agreed it was blood money, I would suggest that they did know what they were doing, but they simply did not care, for on that night, they were on the payroll of Satan.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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8 Responses to Judas Has His Own Problems

  1. pipermac5 says:

    If I recall correctly, the High Priest during that era was a political-appointment, a puppet of Rome, not a true spiritual-leader, so that he was on Satan’s payroll should come as no surprise. He was as corrupt as the Romans.

    Blessings!

    Steve

  2. paulfg says:

    You have a Godly eye for detail. I have not heard that detail extracted ever. Thank you.

  3. Greetings Don

    This might be slightly off topic, but please help me understand why Judas had to kiss Jesus in Gethsemane as a way of identifying him? Surely they knew what Jesus looked like.

    Secondly, why did Judas feel remorse. I assume he had committed many sins (perhaps stealing money) previously and it is not recorded that he felt remorse enough to repent.

    Great article, I enjoyed reading it.

    – Papikie

    • Don Merritt says:

      As for the kiss, it was part of a normal greeting in that time and culture, so there really isn’t any great significance to it, beyond the irony of it. It would be like walking up to some with a big smile and shaking their hand as though all were normal today…

      As for the remorse, I can’t give you much of an answer beyond theories, since the text doesn’t say. One popular theory is that since Satan entered Judas when he betrayed Jesus (as John records) then when the betrayal was complete Satan left him and returned to his right mind. That could be it. Another is that Judas’ intent was to bring matters to a head so Jesus would quit dilly-dallying and rise up an throw the Romans out, and when that didn’t happen and Judas saw what he had actually started, he was mortified. In the final analysis however, we simply can’t be sure.

      These are great questions Papikie; thank you!

  4. bcaudle77 says:

    great insight, didn’t know about this fulfillment of prophecy in Jeremiah. Crazy about them not wanting to put blood money back in treasury.

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