Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”-the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD, to the potter. Zechariah 11:13
Ever do something you regretted? I know I have. I have done and said things that have hurt others and done things only God and I know about. I don’t know anyone who does not regret things they have done. The hardest thing is when I do something that seems right at the time only to find out that it was all wrong or the result of my action did not result in a good outcome.
In today’s verse from Zachariah we see the outcome of the first action. Payment was taken and then after some regrets the money is tried to be returned. Matthew relates that after Judas took the money from the priests and betrayed Jesus he realized that he had made a terrible mistake. He tried to return the money but the priest would not accept the now blood money. Judas throws the money on the floor of the temple and leaves.
Now the priests were not ones to waste money but they also could not use the thirty pieces of silver for the temple so they used it to purchase a potter’s field, a cemetery for the indigent and non-Jews. After seeing what the Jewish authorities and the Romans had done to Jesus and knowing that soon Jesus was to be crucified Judas knew that things had gone farther than he expected. Maybe Judas thought Jesus would be jailed possibly whipped but I am guessing it never crossed his mind that Jesus would be crucified. Judas might even have thought that the crowd would ask Pilate to release Jesus.
Judas then compounded his mistake by committing suicide. Maybe if he had lived he would have seen Jesus resurrected. He would have seen Jesus forgiveness first hand. Unlike Peter who had denied Jesus three times but went on to be one of the great spreaders of the Gospel, Judas put an end to his story that had no room for redemption. Some might disagree with me and say that what Judas did could never be forgiven but I think that puts limits on God’s love and ability to forgive. When Jesus paid the price for our sins He paid for all our sins big and small. This forgiveness is available to anyone who asks for it no matter what they have done. That may sound unfair but the unfairness lies with us in trying to rank our sins and in our thinking that my sins are not really all the bad. When we think like that we forget that any sin is too big a sin for us to overcome. We need help. We need God’s help. Fortunately He is ready and willing to help.
Have a blessed day,