Reading: Matthew 27:1-10
During this Lenten Season, we remember our Lord’s great sacrifice.
We have all probably experienced betrayal to some degree, whether on a large scale or a small one, but to be betrayed by those closest to you, one in your inner circle, has to be devastating; to forgive the betrayer is a difficult thing to do.
When I was a young school girl, a classmate took my paper, copied it, and turned it in as his own. The teacher accepted his as the original, and gave me a failing grade. This was unfair, and a betrayal, albeit no comparison to the betrayal of Jesus, but none-the-less, something I never forgot.
Jesus was betrayed by one he trusted, but he knew this had to happen to fulfill his destiny. As painful as this was, Jesus knew it had to happen in just this way. “When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests & elders” (Mt. 27:3).
Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, and when faced with what he had done, he returned the money and hung himself (Mt. 27:3-5). He did not seek forgiveness, and gave himself no chance for repentance.
“The Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Mt. 26:24).
On the other hand, Peter denied Jesus three times—“with oaths and curses even” (Mt. 26:69-75). His response was to weep bitterly, but remain alive giving himself the chance for forgiveness and repentance, and to be re-instated by the Lord.
Why was Judas so willing to betray Jesus—jealousy, vengeance, greed? What were his motives?
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Cor. 7:10).
By Jean McKenna