Don’t have much time today but a couple things stuck out to me in today’s reading, Matthew 27. There are two very important figures in this passage. The first mentioned in Matthew 27:3-5 is Judas, one of the twelve disciples who betrayed Jesus for money.
Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.
Then there’s Pontius Pilate, who allowed Jesus to be crucified without any grounds for it. He realises that Jesus has done nothing wrong, but in Matthew 27:24 he gives up and claims he has done no wrong.
So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”
So what did Pilate do wrong?
- He was unjust. He failed to bring justice to the Judge of the World and allowed the World to guide his decision.
- He tried to justify his knowingly sinful actions by shifting the blame.
Take the same responsibility with discipleship. Take the same responsibility with parenting. With leadership. Use authority for good because that’s probably why God has given you any of it, and for Christ’s sake (hehe), try not to put your higher-ups in a similar position.
What happens to Judas?
Regret. That’s it, and that’s really enough to push him to end his own life. When he initially made a deal with the Pharisees it didn’t seem all that bad, and maybe he didn’t even think anything would come out of it (That it would lead to the crucifixion). I mean, his regret is genuine. That’s exactly something we need to learn from Judas.
- Trying to gain anything through sin is disregarding what Jesus paid for that sin.
- It’s never worth it.
I know I’ve never done something that resulted in the death of Jesus, but I can’t say I’ve never betrayed him in a similar fashion. Just like Pilate, when I lack boldness in my faith I let the World decide what I say and when I get to live out my faith. Like Judas, I let temptation tell me that I will be happy with this temporary ‘wealth’ I can acquire, whether that ‘wealth’ is satisfied lust, or fulfilled revenge. I promise you, that 30 silver will look enticing someday. And on that someday I pray that I am prepared to recognize it.
These two stories are painful examples of what happens when we don’t fight back. Sin and temptations are part of my nature, but that doesn’t mean I can’t conquer it, and each time I fight back I realize how much more worth there is in standing my ground 🙂
Michael “Regret is a Ju-das best served cold” Ru