Saying: ¨I have sinned when I betrayed righteous blood.¨ they said: ¨What is that to us? You must see to that?¨ Matthew 27:4 (Reference Bible)
When Judas realized that he they had condemned Jesus to death he felt the weight of his betrayal. It is true that there had been considerable evil flowing through his nature to drive him to give away the Son of God and deliver Him into the hands of those who wanted to kill Him. For us, he is the perfect scapegoat. We can look down our noses at him and hurl our insults and unfavorable criticism. But that would not be very Christ-like.
Judas had been a companion of Jesus. He might have had many flaws and Jesus knew that one day Judas would betray Him. But I am sure Jesus loved Him as He loves each and every one of us. The great heart of our Lord goes out to people in compassion. Jesus did not want anything bad to happen to anyone. What is more, how much difference is there really, between Judas and us? Haven´t we all betrayed Jesus at some point and don´t we do something similar each day in some way or other?
If you are perfect, then you don´t have to worry. But if you are honest and wear the skin of a human being, then you know you are subject to all the short-comings of our fallen nature. At some point and in many little ways we fail to uphold or obey our Lord as we should. The point is not that we live completely without sin. The scriptures have told us that is impossible for humans to do. It is important to do whatever we can to not fall into those pitfalls. But what is most important, when we do find that we have failed our Lord that we come to Him.
Judas realized his mistake and took the money back to the temple and the priests. He was greedy, but after seeing the wrong he had done he felt guilty and miserable. Peter too had betrayed His Savior that night, but he went out and cried. Both had failed, one took his repentance and used it to throw himself further on the Lord. The other took his guilt and found escape by another route. He killed himself.
Where do you go when you realize your guilt? Who do you turn to when you realize that you have let the Lord down? What happens when we do not accept any guilt at all? Are we perfect and never slip up?
Dear Jesus, for all those times when we knowingly or unknowingly sell you short, we are sorry. Please fill us with an attitude of healthy remorse for our worldly actions. When we do not live up to Your expectations for us, please overwhelm us with the weight of our sins. But help us to weather our guilt well. Help us to take our broken spirit to You. Let us throw ourselves at Your feet and beg for forgiveness and comfort. Let our repentance work for us in bringing us closer to and more dependent upon You. Show us how to follow Peter and not Judas who each chose their manner of dealing with the guilt. Most of all, keep our hearts safely guarded from that deadly condition of standing above guilt and therefore placing confidence in our own righteousness. In the best of times and the worst, let us always come to You for everything and place ourselves at Your mercy and in Your presence, instead of going off to deal with it ourselves.