Judas Iscariot’s story ends in unnecessary tragedy. After spending years with Jesus during His ministry, Judas turned against Him. For thirty pieces of silver, Judas betrayed the Lord to the mob who had come to the garden carrying torches and weapons (John 18:3). According to John 13:26, Jesus knew Judas was preparing to betray Him. Judas had determined to participate in this dark deed for a handful of money. After betraying Jesus in the garden, Judas maintained his focus on the trial and its outcome the next morning. Matthew 27:3-5 relates his reaction to the verdict of Jesus’ trial:
Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.
Judas went away and hanged himself because he recognized his wicked behavior. I cannot imagine the weight of his guilt when he finally understood Jesus would not slip away as He had previously (John 8:59). No matter how he felt, however, Judas could have been forgiven. He was not forced to hang himself, but he saw that as his only path to relieve his pain.
The Scriptures teach that every person is welcome to come to God through Jesus Christ, repenting and being baptized to forgive their sins (Acts 2:38; 4:12; 10:35). Had Judas waited, he could have been forgiven through the very blood he helped to shed (Acts 2:36-38). His earthly life ended in unnecessary tragedy, but yours does not have to. You can be forgiven through Jesus Christ. There is hope in Him!