I wonder how long Judas had been planning his betrayal of Jesus. Had he hatched the plan simply because of greed? Was he jealous that Jesus seemed to favor Peter, James, and John, bringing them on special fieldtrips like the one up the mountain to witness Jesus’ transfiguration? Was he tired of being mocked for being part of this whole Jesus thing, disappointed that Jesus wasn’t the blood-thirsty, ready-for-a-fight messiah he expected?
After he went to the chief priests and took the money, he had plenty of time to change his mind. He could have taken the money back and refused to give Jesus up.
Even as they sit around the table and it becomes clear that Jesus knows about the betrayal, Judas could have decided then and there to turn back. But he didn’t. He got up from the table and followed through on his plan.
Have you ever made a plan to do something that you knew was wrong? Did you have second thoughts? Did you follow through or did you turn back? What was the outcome? We read later in Matthew that Judas was overcome by shame over what he had done. If only he had believed in Jesus’ teaching about God’s steadfast love, mercy, and forgiveness. He might have been able to find a way through it.
Today, offer a prayer for those sins you have knowingly and intentionally committed. Offer with it the shame you carry. Find assurance in God’s promise of pardon and new life.