Tuesday, March 31. Matthew 27:1-14.
We begin our reading of the Passion Week with a tragic story. Judas regrets betraying Jesus. He returns the money that he was given for the betrayal and then commits suicide. There is nothing more tragic, in my mind, than a person who feels so lost and beyond hope that s/he takes his or her own life.
I must pause and grieve so many lives lost in this way…
There is a strange glimmer of hope in this tragic part of the story. Did you notice what the religious leaders did with Judas’ “blood money?” They purchased a field so that strangers could be buried. In one sense, this continues their hatred of people who are different. Even in death they are segregated. However, in the purchase of this field, now the stranger can at least be honored in a decent burial.
This plot of land was called the “Field of Blood” and was a place to honor the stranger. I think this may be a small foreshadowing of the resurrection hope that is coming on Easter. Jesus’ death will turn the world upside down, and bring life from the pit of death and despair. In today’s story we see, that even out of the tragic suicide of a repentant betrayer, the stranger finds hope.
Reach out today to the person you know who is on the edge. Pray that they know the love of God in their life before they take the path of Judas. There is hope.