November 8, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Saturday after the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 55, 2 Kings 25:8-26, Col. 3:18-4:6
Evening – Psalm 93, 98, Dt. 9:7-29, Mt. 27:1-10

Commentary, Matthew 27:1-10

Hypocrisy and false repentance are the outstanding features of this passage.  Hypocrisy is seen in the priests and elders.  They have gone to great lengths to capture Jesus and get Him to the Romans for execution.  This is not justice; it is pure, pre-meditated murder and they are murderers.  Yet they will not take the money from Judas.  This is the money they paid him to betray Christ. They even admit their guilt when they call the money “the price of blood” in verse 6.  Truly they strain at a gnat (the money) and swallow a camel (murder).

In verse 3, Judas “repented himself.”  The Greek word used in this verse means to have a change of mind or to have sorrow over something.  Judas is sorry about betraying Christ, and his soul is tormented over the wickedness of turning Christ over to those who will kill Him.  He wishes he could undo what he has done, and the reality of it has cast his soul into deep depression.  But his is not sorrow unto life.  According to Scripture, there are two kinds of sorrow.  2 Corinthians 7:10 tells of a Godly sorrow, “that worketh repentance unto salvation.”  This begins with the realization that we are sinners, and that are sins are heinous crimes against God and humanity.  It goes on to beseech God’s mercy through Christ, and to turn from sin to Godliness as a way thinking and living.

But there is also a sorrow of the world which ends in despair.  It does not lead a person to God.  It does not lead a person to turn from sin to God. It does not lead to Heaven. It simply leaves a person in that deep, deep soul sickness and depression.  This is the kind of sorrow most people have.  They regret that they have done and do certain things.  They see the self-destruction they cause to themselves, and the hurt and grief they cause to others.  But they do not come to God for forgiveness and help.  They remain in their sin.  The Bible says this kind of sorrow “worketh death” (2 Cor. 7:10).  Judas is a sad example.  Unwilling to truly repent, his is merely the “sorrow of the world.  Finding no relief from his sorrows, he finally hangs himself (Mt. 27:5).    

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