Judas and Pilot

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[a] was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Matthew 27:1-14

Ugh, the Priests are such hypocrites. They won’t use Judas’s money in the Temple because it’s “blood money” and not allowed, but they’re the ones who gave it to him in the first place! It’s so clear that what they did goes completely against God’s Law (otherwise why would the money be disallowed in the Temple?), but they don’t care because they got what they wanted in the end. Matthew also quotes prophecy here for the first time in many chapters. God knew exactly what the Chief Priests would do, and exactly what they would use the money for. Remember, the Gospel of Matthew was written specifically to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah, so proof like that would be very important to them.

Poor Judas. He was undoubtedly a lost soul. He finally repents of his crime to Jesus, but instead of getting over his sin and forgiving himself the way the rest of the disciples eventually do, or instead of trying to fix it somehow, he takes his own life. I genuinely feel sorry for Judas. He really needed Jesus in his life, but he rejected and betrayed him, even to the end.

Jesus’s trial with Pilate is always interesting to me, but I wish it had more details! I can just picture Jesus standing there, silently, while the Priests shout accusations at Him. They say things they weren’t brave enough to say to Him in the Temple, but now that He’s a prisoner they find the nerve. Yet, Jesus amazes Pilate, and He could probably convince Pilate to release Him, but He doesn’t. He knows now that that isn’t God’s plan for Him. So He endures their insults and accusations silently. What a great example of humility! I could certainly learn from this that there are times to hold my tongue. Pride is what forces comebacks and defenses out of us when we are insulted, wrongly or not. But what good do they do? No, Jesus’s way is better. Just don’t respond. God knows whether the accusations and insults are right or wrong, and nobody else matters.

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