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 actions. He went back to the chief priests and an exchange takes place that is nothing short 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. “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 the 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 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.