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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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.