I am reading in Matthew 27 today, and it is the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. At the beginning of the chapter, we see the end of Judas’ life. The story flows like this:
3 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.”
5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
I am always fascinated with how Judas can have spent so much time with Jesus and still missed it. I always have a hope that I will find some place in the story where Judas turns. I just don’t want him to miss out on a chance at joy. But I still haven’t found that part of the story. It just doesn’t seem to be there. When I read in verse three that he is filled with remorse, that is as close as I can find.
Unfortunately, there is huge gap between us being sorry for making a mistake and us trusting Jesus as our savior. If Judas had turned his heart at this point, he would have trusted Jesus, not committed suicide. He was just a few hours from the resurrection, and he took his own life. He never made it.
Just a few hours from the resurrection.
It just breaks my heart to read this story. But it pushes me to constantly evaluate what is driving me in my decisions. When I make decisions based on guilt and regret, usually it works out poorly. They are decisions without hope; desperate and grasping.
When I make decisions based on Jesus being my living King, it’s a whole different type of decision. It’s one based on an impossible hope created by the loving, powerful son of God.
What message are we sending those we lead and love? It’s more than remorse. It’s faith. It’s more than being sorry for sin. It’s trusting in the living one.
I’m so glad. Hope is the best way to live by far.