Daily D – Matthew 26:50
“Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”
MATTHEW 26:50 (CSB)
Judas never answered the question.
What could he say, really? If he answered truthfully, there is a good chance he would have dissolved in tears. His answer would have been a confession: “I have come to betray you to your death.” Saying those words would certainly choke up a normal man or woman.
Judas never answered the question aloud. He could not bear the weight of the words. He could not stand the sound of his own voice. He could not consider the full implications of his empty heart and his bulging money bag.
Judas had no confession. Judas received no pardon, no forgiveness. Judas found the weight of his actions too burdensome to bear.
“Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,’ he said,” (Matthew 27:3, 4).
Judas attempted to unburden himself with this misdirected confession. At last, right there at the end, Judas came to grips with what he had done. However, his confession was directed to those who would make sure Jesus ended up on a cross. There was no forgiveness found there, no mercy, no grace. There was no hope of overcoming such a sorrowful outcome.
“So he threw the silver into the temple and departed,” (Matthew 27:5).
Some sins once done create consequences that cannot be undone. Beware unerasable errors.
Betrayal is the kind of sin that takes supernatural strength to reconcile. Judas turned away from Jesus’ eyes, turned away from the question that could have placed him on the pathway toward redemption, turned away to deep remorse and eternal regret.
Could Judas have been forgiven by Jesus?
Consider the case of Simon Peter found in Matthew 26:69-75. He, too, denied Jesus not once, not twice, but three times. You may recall what happened after the resurrection and the best catch of fish Peter had ever seen, and he had seen a pretty great catch of fish before (Luke 5:1-11). Jesus restored Peter completely (John 21:15-19).
“Then he (Judas) went and hanged himself,” (Matthew 27:5).
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
(Jesus Paid It All, Baptist Hymnal, Convention Press, 1956)
Judas threw away everything he gained along with the opportunity to confess his failure to Jesus and to experience the grace greater than his sin.
Peter traded fishing for shepherding souls.
Jesus asks you and me and everyone else, “Friend, why have you come?” The proper response is to confess our sins and to receive his forgiveness. The result is friendship with our Savior and a life directed toward grace upon grace.
I will confess my sins to Jesus.
Our Father, I am a sinner by nature and by choice. Please forgive me. Thank you for your saving and healing grace. Empower me to live today in the full measure of today’s mercies. Empower me to extend your offer of forgiveness to every Judas and Peter. Empower me to make friends for Jesus. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.