October 12

Text: Matthew 27:3, 4

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!"  (NASB)

Two initial tragedies to Judas in his betrayal of Jesus are obvious.  (a) The first was that things did not work out as he (Judas) intended.  (b) He was deserted in his mistake.  It became painfully obvious to Judas that Judas was the victim of Judas.  What a devastating realization!

Few people recover from this realization: “I made a devastating mistake!  It is impossible to undo what I did—there is no reverse in what I put into motion!  I will have to live constantly with the suffering I caused!”  The awareness that you caused suffering to someone you cared about plus the awareness that there is no way to “fix” what you did easily can build a platform that supports deep depression.

Two things leap out in Judas’ reaction.  (a) He saw. (b) He was filled with remorse.  When our eyes are filled with self, we fail to see.  To Judas, the betrayal was filled with opportunity for success—he would get richer, and no one would be hurt.  However, the betrayal was filled with opportunity for disaster.  As is often the case, all the things he failed to see were right before him to see (a) had he only looked and (b) if he had not had his eyes full of himself.

He was deeply sorry for his mistake and the pain it caused, but being sorry—in this instance—changed nothing.  Poor Judas!  He seemed to be thinking only of what he could do to “fix” the situation.  All Judas could “fix” was himself by accepting forgiveness.  His remorse destroyed him instead of rescuing him!

Repentance is devastating when the person only focuses on the situation—all that the person sees is how terrible the person was and is.  Repentance is healing only when the person focuses on God.  When the person gets self out of the eyes and sees God, repentance becomes a blessing.

Those who were so delighted that Judas would betray Jesus wanted nothing to do with Judas’ remorse.  Remorse is catching!  As terrible as Judas’ deed was, he certainly was not by himself in the horrible mistake department!

Suggestion for reflection: Have you seen your mistakes?  Have you seen God’s kindness?  (Read Romans 2:4-11.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell