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18. The End of the Traitor
(Matthew 27:3-5)
3Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”5Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. (Matthew26:15, Acts1:18-19)

Seeing that his Master had not made a political coup, Judas was bitter. He was also full of remorse, realizing that he had contributed to Jesus’ death. Such remorse without true repentance leads to despair. Judas had actually confessed his sin to the chief priests, but he received no mercy from them. He was ready to testify of Jesus’ innocence, and he threw the betrayal money down in the temple. His confession was not the beginning of a true repentance but rather the result of fear. His offense loomed before him like a high mountain that was pressing on him. Ultimately, he hanged himself with a rope. When the rope was cut, he fell headlong, burst open in the middle, and all his bowels spilled out (Acts 1:18).
When Judas reflected on what he had done, he was filled with grief, anguish, and indignation. The thirty pieces of silver had looked very fine in the beginning, but when the betrayal was done and the money paid, the silver became dross: it bit like a serpent, and stung like a bee. We can imagine him saying to himself, “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 of these abuses and indignities done to Him are chargeable to me. It is because of me that He is bound and condemned, spit upon and beaten.”
Now Judas curses the bag he carried, the money he coveted, the priests he dealt with, and the day that he was born. The memory of his Master’s goodness and mercy, as well as the warnings he had ignored, heaped conviction on him and pierced his soul. He found his Master’s words to be true; “It were better for that man, that he had never been born.”
God’s offer of grace is for only a limited time, and no amount of money will change that. For lukewarm people, Judas’ end has become an impetus to turn back and repent.

Lord Jesus Christ, we praise You because You called Your betrayer “Friend.” During the Lord’s Supper You warned him to turn back, repent, and leave his evil intent, but he was not willing and did not confess his sin. He loved money more than he loved You. He hoped for power and position, and he let the devil control his thoughts. Forgive us our malice and purify us from every negative thought against a brother or sister. May we never betray them intentionally or unintentionally, nor denounce them, but stand with them in distress and defend them before those who hate them.
Why did Judas hang himself and not repent as Peter did?