Eyewitness to the Crucifixion: Judas, Regrets His Actions

Judas has betrayed Jesus, who has been arrested and taken to trial and execution.  He has been led away with great triumph and taken to stand before Pilate.

The Pharisees had Jesus and was pleased

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”     {Matthew 27:3-10}

Judas is a witness to Jesus trial and until he is condemned.  We’ve been told that Satan entered him to bring about this act.

Now he is filled with remorse, leading to the conclusion Satan has left him. 

Judas began to realize what he’d done

He returns to the chief priest and elders, where he is sorry.  Maybe he ask them to stop and let Jesus go.  Regardless of what he says, he returns the money.  However, the deed and crime is done.  There is no going back and undoing what’s been done.

Judas realizes that betraying Jesus, he has betrayed innocent, untainted blood. He repents of his actions and tries to make restitution.

“What induced him to repent. It was when he saw that he was condemned. Judas, it is probable, expected that either Christ would have made his escape out of their hands, or would so have pleaded his own cause at their bar as to have come off, and then Christ would have had the honour, the Jews the shame, and he the money, and no harm done.

This he had no reason to expect, because he had so often heard his Master say that he must be crucified; yet it is probable that he did expect it, and when the event did not answer his vain fancy, then he fell into this horror, when he saw the stream strong against Christ, and him yielding to it. … He repented himself; that is, he was filled with grief, anguish, and indignation, at himself, when reflecting upon what he had done. When he was tempted to betray his Master, the thirty pieces of silver looked very fine and glittering, like the wine, when it is red, and gives its colour in the cup. 

But when the thing was done, and the money paid, the silver was become dross, it bit like a serpent, and stung like an adder. Now his conscience flew in his face; “What have I done! What a fool, what a wretch, am I, to sell my Master, and all my comfort and happiness in him, for such a trifle! All these abuses and indignities done him are chargeable upon me; it is owing to me, that he is bound and condemned, spit upon and buffeted. I little thought it would have come to this, when I made that wicked bargain; so foolish was I, and ignorant, and so like a beast.” Now he curses the bag he carried, the money he coveted, the priests he dealt with, and the day that he was born. The remembrance of his Master’s goodness to him, which he had so basely requited, the bowels of mercy he had spurned at, and the fair warnings he had slighted, steeled his convictions, and made them the more piercing. Now he found his Master’s words true; It were better for that man, that he had never been born.” {Matthew Henry Commentary}

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”  {Matthew 27:3-10}

The temple leaders do not care that Judas is remorseful.  They have what they wanted. It’s not their problem but his.

Matthew Henry says See here how Judas repented: not like Peter, who repented, believed, and was pardoned: no, he repented, despaired, and was ruined…See here how the chief priests and elders entertained Judas’s penitential confession; they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. He made them his confessors, and that was the absolution they gave him; more like the priests of devils than like the priests of the holy living God.

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.    {Matthew 27:3-10}

Here is the utter despair that Judas was hereby driven into. If the chief priests had promised him to stay the prosecution, it would have been some comfort to him; but, seeing no hopes of that, he grew desperate.  {Matthew Henry Commentary}

He went to a solitary place, where he would be by himself and could not be stopped. There he found a tree and hung himself.

Matthew Henry says “Woe to him that is in despair, and is alone. If Judas had gone to Christ, or to some of the disciples, perhaps he might have had relief, bad as the case was; but, missing of it with the chief priests, he abandoned himself to despair: and the same devil that with the help of the priests drew him to the sin, with their help drove him to despair. Secondly, He became his own executioner; He hanged himself; he was suffocated with grief.”

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”   {Matthew 27:3-10}

Prophecy was fulfilled as the chief priest purchased a potter’s field or a place to bury the poor.

Acts 1:18-19  tells us “With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.” 

This can be confusing, because Matthew tells us he returned the money.  Matthew Henry explains it this way, “He did not purchase the field, but the wages of his unrighteousness did, and it is very elegantly expressed thus, in derision of his projects to enrich himself by this bargain. He thought to have purchased a field for himself, as Gehazi did with what he got from Naaman by a lie (see 2 Kgs. 5:26), but it proved the purchase of a field to bury strangers in; and what was he or any of his the better for this? “

He did not die an easy or pleasant death, but a brutal and painful death.  Everyone heard about what he did and the field became known as the field or place of blood.

Acts goes on to tell us Matthias is elected to replace Judas as one of the disciples.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.