Summary: Examine the different reactions to the sins of Judas and Peter in the Passion history.
Shadow and Light: Judas and Peter
If there’s one thing you notice when reading the Bible is that it doesn’t hold back. It fully reveals God’s wrath and God’s love. God wasn’t afraid to have people put to death on a wide scale basis. He also didn’t hold back on His wrath on His Son; which the Bible describes in great detail. It also fully reveals man’s sin; and there are some really striking examples of sinful behavior in the Bible. One of the more shocking things is that some of this sinful behavior is done by those who are supposed to be God’s people. We are well familiar with Abraham’s adultery, Cain’s murder, and David’s murder and adultery. The Old Testament is full of rebellion and sin.
When unbelievers read how some of the patriarchs behaved, they love to ridicule this and make fun of the stories. The temptation of believers is to hide these stories under the rug or to be embarrassed of them. Don’t discuss them in Sunday School. Make everything sound more palatable. Yet sin is sin; disgusting as it may be.
For the Christian, we really ought not to shy away from these stories. They reveal who we are or what we could do. They also reveal how gracious God is in His mercy. Today we look at two sinners sin. We look at two disciples sin. Their names are Judas and Peter. This should not surprise us. Sin is what sinners do. Yet some sins do stand out; and these ones definitely fit the bill. The two disciples respond to their sins in different ways. One in darkness, the other in light.
I. The shadow of Judas
Matthew 27:5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
We all know that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. The Bible clearly details that his demise was partly due to the fact that he was full of greed. Some speculate that he may have also been disheartened by the way Jesus didn’t become more active in politics or do more to overthrow the religious establishment. Tonight I’m not going to talk about all of what caused him to get there. I’m going to talk about what he did AFTER the betrayal.
In some sense it would appear that Judas did many things right after he sinned. Matthew 27:3-4 says, “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins 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.” The Bible says that Judas was “seized with remorse.” I was curious about that word. Was it a genuine word for repentance, or was it only an empty going through of the ritual. It isn’t the same word as “repent”, but from all I could tell it indicates an actual heart felt sorrow over what you’ve done. The other usages of the word never indicated a feigned or fake repentance.