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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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.