The Possible Redemption of Judas
Scripture: Matthew 27:3-5 (NIV)
“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.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.“
We usually focus on the resurrection of Jesus, a day of great celebration and victory for all Christians. However, the absence of Judas among the disciples stands out. The tragic end of Judas’ life raises important questions about redemption and the potential for transformation in our own lives.
Judas, driven by guilt and remorse, returned the blood money he received for betraying Jesus. He acknowledged his sin and the innocence of Jesus, but instead of seeking forgiveness and restoration, he chose to end his own life. This raises the question: Could Judas have been redeemed and used by God if he had chosen a different path?
The speaker draws our attention to the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul, who was a persecutor of Christians. Yet, God transformed him and used him mightily to write a significant portion of the New Testament and spread the Gospel. This serves as a reminder that God can redeem and use even those who have committed grave mistakes.
The message for us today is that no matter how deep our guilt or shame may be, there is always hope for redemption and transformation in Christ. Suicide may seem like the only way out for some, but it is not the path God desires for His children. He created each of us with a purpose, and even in our darkest moments, He can use us to make a significant impact on the world.
Acknowledge your mistakes: It is essential to recognize and confess our sins before God. We must take responsibility for our actions and seek forgiveness from Him and those we have wronged.
Embrace God’s redemption: The story of Paul reminds us that God’s grace is sufficient to transform even the most broken and sinful lives. We must believe in His power to redeem and restore us, no matter how far we have fallen.
Allow God to use your pain: When we reach a point in our lives where we feel we have nothing to lose, it is precisely when God can use us the most. Surrendering our pain and brokenness to Him allows Him to work through us to bring healing and hope to others.
Seek forgiveness: Take time to reflect on your actions and seek forgiveness from God and those you have hurt. Repentance opens the door to God’s redemption and restoration in your life.
Embrace God’s grace: Believe in the power of God’s grace to transform your life. Trust that He can use your past mistakes and pain for His glory and the benefit of others.
Be open to God’s leading: Surrender your life to God and allow Him to use you, even in your brokenness. Be open to His guidance and direction, trusting that He will use your story to impact the lives of others.
Dear Heavenly Father, we come before you with humble hearts, acknowledging our mistakes and seeking your forgiveness. We thank you for the example of Judas and the reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is hope for redemption and transformation in Christ. Help us to fully embrace your grace and to surrender our lives to your leading. Use us, Lord, to bring healing and hope to a hurting world. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Podcast Transcript: Judas' Tragic Fate - What We Missed
This is the day where Jesus proves He was who He said He was. This is one of the most exciting days of all the Christian faith that we have, as we know that Jesus, when He died, that wasn’t the end of the story, that He rose from the grave and He conquered sin, He conquered death, and He rose again to the Father 40 days later, where He sits at the right hand of God on the throne. To this day, we are awaiting His return.
Reading through the end of Matthew, I was expecting some of the verses to stand out to me would be really around the resurrection because today is the day we celebrate the resurrection. So that should be the verses that stand out to me. But that was not the case. Something stood out to me and hit me really hard. And one of the last verses in the book of Matthew is chapter 28. It’s verse 16, and it says this. Then the 11 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. That stands out to me in a big way and was powerful to me because it says, then the 11 disciples went to Galilee. The 11. Jesus had 12 disciples for his whole ministry up until the last few days. And that bothered me today, rereading what Judas went through and the agony that he had. After he had realized this mistake that he made, he tried to come back from it. He just could not overcome the guilt and the sorrow that he had, and he took his own life. I think we as a church missed out on something big that Judas could have offered.
When reading through his life for the last part here, Matthew 27, I’m going to read some of this here. It says, early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, He was seized with remorse and returned 30 silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. Judas has gotten paid to rat out Jesus. In verse 4, I have sinned, he said, for I have betrayed innocent blood. What is it to us, they replied? That’s your responsibility. He threw the money into the temple and left, then went away and he hanged himself. I mean, even the priests then, in verse 6, goes on to say that they didn’t want to use that money for anything because it was blood money. They basically ended up buying a graveyard with the money. I feel strongly that that’s not the way Jesus wanted it.
The Redemption of Paul
As we read on, we hear after this, we read on about the Apostle Paul, who was Saul, who basically was a passionate person that would kill Christians for their faith that God redeemed and used to write most of the New Testament. Because after his life was changed, he ended up on fire starting churches, writing letters to churches, encouraging them, and giving them guidance on issues that they’re having. And that’s what makes up most of our New Testament now. So we know that God can redeem, can change, can use people who have done what seems to be something that you can’t come back from. We see that later, but we could have seen that, I feel like, with Judas. And I wish we would have had that story with Judas. Because when I read that there’s only 11 disciples here, that hits pretty hard.
The Power of Redemption
Suicide seems to be increasing all the time. More and more people feel like that’s the only way out for them. And I know that that’s not what God has for people. I know it. Because He makes us with a purpose. And I feel like when you’re in that spot, that is the time that God can use you the most. He can change this world by using you, if you let Him and you allow Him. Because you’ve come to a point in your life where you have nothing to lose. And that is a spot I think God can use in a big way more than you may know or realize.
Well, that’s me, Easter Sunday, reading through about Jesus’ resurrection. That’s what stood out to me. And for what it’s worth, hope it impacts you. I also hope that you’re able to get into the Word today on your own. You may be surprised at the insights and revelations you receive.