The End of Unforgiveness
November 9, 2019
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.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The plan was deliberate. The implementation was flawless. Jesus was in the garden. The “kiss” was given without incident. The other disciples had no reason to suspect that Judas would sell Jesus to the authorities for thirty pieces of silver. The fleeing disciples did not stay around to deal with the betrayer. He walked out of the garden alone.
Regret is an emotion that sinks deep into the soul. When Judas saw that the beaten and bloodied Lord had been condemned, “he was seized with remorse.” His guilt drove him back to those who had paid him. In front of the chief priests and elders, he confessed, “I have sinned for I have betrayed innocent blood.” But there was no sympathy for the betrayer. So he “threw the money into the temple and left.”
For some reason, Judas couldn’t grasp forgiveness. The shame drove him deeper into his guilt instead of to the forgiving Lord. He took matters into his own hands and ended his life. Judas not only betrayed Jesus, but he also ran from the One who could forgive him, even after the kiss.
Father, I pray that my sin will never keep me at a distance from you. Open my heart to Your unfailing love and let me see Your open arms. Let me find forgiveness and freedom in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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