April 2024 Article

Explore the story of Judas, his remorse, and the hope of forgiveness through Christ this Easter season.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” (Matthew 27:3–4, LSB)

Judas felt remorse for his betrayal of Jesus and wanted to take it back, but unfortunately, it was too late. I find the story of Judas to be a sad tale and a lost opportunity. Judas Iscariot is a tragic figure who is caught up in his pride and his lack of humility. Could you imagine the Gospel account that could have been written if Judas had not taken his life? The great message of hope that could have been given to us all as the betrayer of Jesus came to salvation. I have often thought of the scene that could have unfolded on that first Easter morning.

In the fog of the morning, we find Judas tormented with guilt and shame, and the figure of Jesus approaches him through the mist. Judas first reacts in fear as he thinks this is a ghost or a figment of his imagination coming to torment him further. I can see Jesus' arms opening wide as He calls out to Judas, saying with the most loving tone, "Judas!" Then the betrayer who had only ever called Jesus Rabbi falls into the embrace of our Lord with the one word, "Lord." The witness of redemption and healing. The forgiveness that our Lord would have poured upon this most unfortunate of souls. This, we know, is not the scene that happened, but we also know that our Lord would have forgiven him just as He forgives each of us for our shortcomings and failures. The great hope that comes from Christ and Christ alone.

As we walk through this Easter season, let us celebrate the forgiveness that we have received through Christ and Christ alone! His love for us is so great that He gave of Himself and then was raised to life again. His witnessing and teaching continued for 40 days, and then we look to the celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Let us celebrate the new lives we have been given in Christ, our Lord and our King. The joy and hope our Lord gives us all as we are promised eternal life in His glory!

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