When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus 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.’ (Matthew 27.3-10)
It was too late to stop what was happening. Seeing what had taken place the night before, Judas could not have slept at all. What had he done? He had to try and stop it, he had to try and rescue himself from this, he had to get rid of the money that he had taken, the price of the man he loved, the price of a kiss. And as soon as he could he goes to the chief priests. The day is just beginning but everything has ended for Judas.
They laugh at him. He did what they wanted; he played into their hands – why should they be bothered with him now? We are seeing the worse face of humanity. This is all so ugly – and Judas can take no more of it – throws down the coins and runs out and ends it all, escapes the terror of what he has set in motion, this unstoppable nightmare that is the reality of this day.
But there will be others at the very edge today, others who are waking into a living nightmare today, others who have set in train a disastrous course of events. Lord, save them; Lord, have mercy on them; Lord, have mercy on us.
have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins
and bring us to life eternal.