Matthew 27:3-10. “Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, whe he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priest toook the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, the field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spokent by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was valued, Whom they of the children of Israel did value: And gave them for the potters field, as the Lord appointed me.”
This is surely one of the saddest events in the history of mankind. The one who had taken money, the price of a slave, to betray Jesus Christ, is now overwhelmed with the horror of what he has done. Did he repent unto salvation? I don’t think we’ll know that until we reach heaven, but I tend to doubt it. It think he was filled with guilt and dread over his action, but instead of seeking God, he fled in despair and took his own life.
The priests and elders, however, felt no remorse at all, it would seem. They discussed it, realizing they couldn’t use the money in the temple, because it was blood money. So they bought a potter’s field to be used for the burial of strangers–those who bodies were not claimed by anyone.
There is some controversy over the reference to Jeremiah in this passage. Some feel the name should have been Zechariah, as the passage mentions the thirty pieces of silver and the potter’s field (Zech. 11:-12-13). The belief is that the name of Jeremiah would have been entered by whoever copied the manuscript. Some manuscripts do read “Zechariah,” and others do not have the name at all.
In any event, this is indeed a tragic ending for a man who walked with Jesus for three years; who saw His ministry, His miracle, and heard His sermons; who had personal conversation with Him, and had every opportunity to trust Him completely.