Names earn reputations. In deciding on a name for a baby, our feelings about a person affect our feelings about that particular name. We will reject or consider a name based on whether or not we liked that person.

For instance, would you ever name a child “Judas?” His name is synonymous with betrayal. We even refer to a traitor as a “Judas.” Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, agreed to give Jesus over to the Jewish leaders for 30 pieces of silver, the same price set by Jewish law for a slave accidentally gored to death by an ox.

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So 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 pieces of silver 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, NIV

Remorse or Repentance

When morning came and the results of his actions came to light, Judas was “seized with remorse.” The Greek word in Matthew 27:3 translated as “remorse’ in the NIV, is not the same Greek word Jesus uses in Matthew 4:17 when He began to preach: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Jesus called for a change of heart that would result in a change of behavior. Judas simply felt regret. He did not go to God for forgiveness, he went to the Jewish leaders to make restitution. But unable to relieve his guilt, he ended his life instead.

Guilt or Forgiveness

Judas knew he had sinned. He knew he had betrayed an innocent man. Without God’s forgiveness, the guilt consumed him. If he had gone to God he could have found relief.

Is there a burden of sin you need to take to God today? You don’t have to live with guilt and remorse. Repent and turn to the One who offers forgiveness.

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