Thursday, July 19: I have betrayed innocent blood
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 27:1-5
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.
The sparkle and glimmer of silver was enough for Judas to betray Jesus, at least before the betrayal happened. Now that Judas realizes the cost of the silver—the life of an innocent man, the Son of God—he immediately tries to undo his deed. Shiny material things constantly call so many of us, and we too often want things of little real worth. Like Judas, we don't realize until later the full cost of such temporary trinkets.
Do a quick mental inventory of both your material things and the ways you invest your time. Then ask yourself whether they're worth the cost, not only in money but also in how they affect others. Dear God, help us see beyond this world's glitter and invest our time, money, and relationships in all the right places. Please help us set aside our wants that aren't worth it, and give us hearts that pursue and want everything that's worthy of you. Amen.