May 1: A Traitor's Demise (Matthew 27:1-10)
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series called Making Sense of Christ and the Spirit at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Leviticus).
 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.  And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.
 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,  saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”  And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.  But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.”  So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers.  Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.  Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel,  and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.” (ESV)
Matthew inserts this story about Judas slightly out of sequence because of its relationship to the surrounding events. Only Matthew speaks to the last acts of Judas before he takes his own life. Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus, once seeing Jesus condemned is filled with regret and remorse and tries desperately to undo his sin of betraying an innocent man. Unable to change the verdict of death for Jesus, he returns the money and commits suicide. The religious leadership, unmoved by his declaration of Jesus’ innocence, uses this money for the purchase of a field called ‘field of blood.’ One of the many things we see in this tragic story is the weight of guilt without recourse to forgiveness, how it leads to death. We also see the dangers of a religion that is not founded upon the saving message of God in Jesus Christ. Man-made varieties of religion are deadening to the soul. Last we will see that in spite of the lies, cover ups, and crooked men, God’s plan and design are not swayed from their perfect direction.
Review and Apply
1. What are the similarities and differences between Peter and Judas?
2. What characterizes Judas’ change of mind? Why or why isn't this true repentance? How is it different than Peter?
3. What is the evidence of false religion in the leadership of the Jews? Where are traces of this in your own life?
4. How is God’s sovereign design worked out in this story?
5. How should the church respond to such a story? What can you do for a brother or sister in light of this teaching?
6. How are you personally warned, helped, convicted or encouraged?
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