We Only Find Forgiveness with God

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

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.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:1-5)

Want to know what Satan’s response is to our succumbing to his temptations? Here it is: It’s our problem, it’s our responsibility. He does not care about us; never has, never will.

The way of sin is always downhill. We should not for a second assume we will come forth victorious if we choose to deal with the devil. He is crafty and boastful, the father of lies, and a murderer from the beginning, ever seeking our destruction no matter what other promises he may whisper in our ear. Scripture tells us:

“Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.”
-Robert J. Morgan

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Contrast Satan’s desire to destroy us with our Heavenly Father who always has our best interest at heart. We can trust Him. Our Father loves us with an everlasting love. He has engraved us on the palms of His hands. He longs to be gracious to us and has wonderfully great plans for us. He is constantly with us and holds us by our right hand.

“What can be deeper than His Presence and constant care? In a world in which multitudes feel isolated and alienated, we have the permanent companionship of the most loving and powerful Being in the universe. Nothing could be more important and life shaping than that. Whatever difficulty we go through, He nevertheless holds us by the hand.” -Chris Tiegreen

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

In our verses for today we find the religious elite a part of the dire decision of putting Jesus to death. The Romans had taken away the Jews power of capital punishment and therefore these leaders had to deliver Jesus over to Pilate so that he might execute the sentence. Roman writers characterize the governor as a man with a rough and haughty spirit. The Jews had a great enmity towards him, yet they used him as a tool for their hatred against Jesus. The chief priests and elders tied our Lord’s hands behind Him and led Him forth as a convicted criminal–as a lamb to the slaughter–to receive His sentencing.

And in the midst of all of this, we see Judas, filled with remorse over his actions, returning the thirty coins to the religious leaders.

“It is His love for man, His compassion for the human race, that prompts God to hate sin with such a vengeance. He gave Heaven’s finest that we might have the best; and He loathes with a holy abhorrence anything that would hinder our being reconciled to Him.”
-Billy Graham
Their response is indicative of the condition of their cold and hardened hearts. They bore neither responsibility nor compassion for Judas’ remorse.

Too bad for Judas, he chose the wrong people to repent to. He should have gone to Jesus in full repentance. Instead, he leaves the scene and hangs himself. He can’t handle the heaviness of his remorse and ends his earthly life only to wake up in the unquenchable fires of hell. Surely our Lord’s words ring true:

“But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:5)

Each one of us needs to go directly to Jesus for forgiveness, healing, and hope. Only He can grant us the forgiveness we desire.

Take It to Heart

“Serious and sincere repentance routes us back into God’s will.”
(Robert J. Morgan)

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