Matt 27:3c – 5a “… and [Judas] returned the thirty pieces of silver … saying ‘I have sinned betraying innocent blood’ … and he threw the silver into the sanctuary …”

Despite his remorse, Judas does not seek God for forgiveness. Instead he tries to undo his wrong through additional backroom deal-making. Like the Jewish leaders (Matt 26:59-60a), the Romans politicians (Matt 27:23-24; Luke 23:4; John 18:38) , and the false witnesses (Matt 26:60; Mark 14:55-56), Judas could not dig up any fault in Jesus. He therefore could not find a way to rationalize his treachery. In His sovereign power, God caused even His enemies to admit His Son’s sinless purity.

Judas dropping 30 denares the high priests gave him before to betray Jesus.

Judas returned the money ...

The money Judas wanted so badly now burned in his hands like hot coal. The only change in Judas was his attitude toward the money itself. The coins were a continual reminder of his action and thus haunted him relentlessly.

In an attempt to rid himself of the guilt, Judas tried to force the chief priests into the handling blood money themselves. Judas reckoned that if he rid himself of the money, he would exonerate himself of the guilt and condemnation for betraying the Son of God.

Painting of Saint Peter by Peter Paul Rubens

Peter returned to Christ

There is no doubt that Judas had a real sense of his sin, but there was no apprehension of the mercy of God found in Jesus Christ. Judas’s sin was by no means unpardonable. There were some, such as Peter, who were saved that had been betrayers of the Lord just as he was. But Judas concluded that his sin was greater than could be forgiven. Judas threw himself on the devil’s mercy rather than God’s.

Peter betrayed the Lord, too.  Peter was also sorry for what he had done to the Lord. What was the difference between Judas and Peter?

Judas returned the money. Peter returned to Christ.

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