I re-read the couple of verses over and over again in my head. Then I read them out loud. These verses were not new to me. And the story behind it was something I’ve heard my whole life. Judas Iscariot, the great betrayer, had given Jesus up for 30 pieces of silver. We all know how vile his actions were, how hard his heart was. But this day, Matthew 27:3-4 brought fresh eyes to an old story.
Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”
While I’ve never been taught to hate Judas, this disgust of him and his actions has always been forefront in that story. How could someone who dropped everything to be a follower of Jesus be so easily swayed? How do you get from listening to the words of Jesus Christ and seeing Him heal the blind and lame to trading him for blood money?
What must have gone through his head when he kissed the face of Jesus? To see Him calm and ready to go with the soldiers….willing to do what needed to be done to save humanity. Jesus Himself told them that death was imminent. Did Judas just not believe what He said?
But today, reading these two verses made me realize how my hatred toward Judas had turned to sorrow. I may not have betrayed Jesus in this way, but I know that I’ve betrayed Him in the actions of my past more than once. And I know the sadness and emptiness I’ve felt when I’d realized what I done and just how far I’d gone.
This new perspective of Judas has allowed me to see past the story I’ve learned my whole life, and notice the broken man underneath. I’ve been there, and I’m grateful that I’ve chosen true repentance over mere remorse. I’m grateful that we have a God that sees our hearts and loves us right where we are, betrayer AND betrothed.