The morning brings light into the world and reveals what we did the night before. Sometimes we are proud of what we did; other times we want to disappear and never see the light of the day again.
Last night, Judas betrayed Jesus to the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver. Monday we read about Judas going to the chief priests and agreeing to betray Jesus. Judas showed us his greedy side; he desires nice things for himself.
Today we see a different side of Judas. A new day has brought the light back into the world, and the light shows Judas the consequences of handing Jesus over to the chief priests: Jesus has been condemned to death.
Judas repents (Matthew 27:3) that he betrayed Jesus, which got him condemned to death. He must be thinking, “What have I done? The man is innocent and has never done wronged me or anyone else. All Jesus ever did was love everyone who crossed his path.”
Judas goes back to the chief priests and gives back the thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 27:2-5). He tells the chief priests, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” (Matthew 27:4a). Judas deeply regrets betraying Jesus to the chief priests, but they could not care less–they got what they wanted: Jesus Christ, the one called the Messiah. The chief priests tell Judas, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” (Matthew 27:4b). Judas is left to deal with his guilt and sin, so he throws all thirty pieces of silver at the chief priests and hangs himself (Matthew 27:5).
The Pharisees have a debate as to what to do with the blood money since it cannot go back into the treasury. The thirty pieces of silver were used for an unholy purpose–to capture and kill an innocent man. By giving Judas the silver, the chief priest went against what the Lord had commanded in the Old Testament. The money could not go back into the treasury because it was unholy silver.
Then the chief priests decide to buy a potter’s field for a place to bury foreigners with the thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 27:7). The chief priests attempt to do something worthy of God with the blood money as an apology just like my brother apologized for taking my money when he realized he broke my trust. The chief priests want to be back in God’s graces, just as my brother wanted to regain my trust.
Later the chief priests take Jesus to Pontius Pilate who talks to him to gather an understanding as to why the chief priests want to put him to death. When Pontius Pilate asks him if he is the King of the Jews, Jesus replies with “You say so” (Matthew 27:11). This is the same answer Jesus gave to the chief priests when they asked him if he is the Messiah (Matthew 26:63-64). Jesus does not want to incriminate himself, and why should he? Nothing he will say will help his case against the chief priests.
Then Pontius Pilate asks Jesus, “Do you not hear what they are saying about you?” Jesus stays quiet, like he did with the chief priests (Matthew 26:63-64). Again, what else Jesus say? The chief priests are ignorant and do not understand who he is. I am sure Pontius Pilate at least heard about Jesus’ teachings in passing. There was nothing more to say. The scriptures have to be fulfilled, and Jesus is willing to fulfill them.
Pontius Pilate realizes the chief priests handed Jesus over to him out of jealousy (Matthew 27:18). Since it is during the festival when it is customary to release one prisoner of the crowd’s choosing, Pilate matches Jesus Christ up against notorious criminal Barabbas, thinking Jesus’ popularity would win him his release. To Pontius Pilate, it is an easy decision: release Jesus Christ, not the actual criminal. Pontius Pilate did not think the chief priests would persuade the crowd to have Barabbas released (Matthew 27:20). So when the crowd shouts for Barabbas to be released, Pontius Pilate asks what to do with Jesus (Matthew 27:21-22). The crowd answers, “Crucify him.” When asked why by Pontius Pilate, the crowd just yelled, “Let him be crucified.” (Matthew 27:23).
Since the crowd has spoken and he does not need a riot on his hands during the festival, Pontius Pilate takes a bowl of water and washes his hands and says, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves” (Matthew 27:24). Pontius Pilate knows Jesus Christ has not done anything wrong and does not want to be included in killing an innocent man. Barabbas is the notorious criminal who should be killed, yet Pontius Pilate needs to avoid a riot and avoid angering his superiors. Pontius Pilate decides to leave it up to the crowd to see to it that Jesus is crucified–he wants no part in it.
The crowd agrees that Jesus’ blood will be on them. So Pontius Pilate releases Barabbas and hands Jesus over to be crucified. The light reveals all–-the good, the bad, and the ugly. Pontius Pilate may not understand or agree with the crowd, but one day the light will reveal to them what they have done. The truth always comes out.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending the light into our lives. Help us to understand why Jesus has to be crucified. Lead us to do your will–no matter the cost. Thank you for being our light and for Jesus agreeing to do your will. Amen.
Please feel free to answer the reflective questions through comments. Please agree to disagree and be respectable to each other. Please take a moment, if you have not already, to sign the covenant. You can answer all or just one of the questions.
- What is the light revealing in your life?
- When and why have you repented?
- When has someone gone against your wishes?