Two words. Two words that are pretty easy to race past as you try to get through your morning’s reading plan. But two words that arrested me this morning . . . and reminded me this morning . . . of the glorious nature of the One who came to fulfill the Father’s will and thus, make way for salvation for as many as would believe.
I don’t really spend much time at all meditating on Judas. But as I think about him this morning, he wasn’t the only disciple who had a personal agenda . . . he wasn’t the only one who had a hard time trying to figure out this “passive Messiah.” He wasn’t even the only one who denied Christ. But he was the only one who betrayed Jesus. He was the only one that Satan found an open door to . . . that the enemy was able to exploit in order to demonstrate his derision for the Son of God. And he was the only who took his own life . . . because he had betrayed innocent blood.
. . . when Judas, His betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:3-5 ESV)
I can’t imagine the horror experienced by Judas after he had come to his senses and realized what he had been part of. Or the depth of conviction that crushed his whole being as he came to a full realization of what the chief priests and elders intended to be done to the One Judas had followed for three years. But in his desperate act to somehow clean his hands of his part in it all, the Holy Spirit uses his pitiful plea to the religious elite as an eternal testimony of the nature of the Lamb God.
Innocent blood. Not guilty of any crime . . . no basis for guilt before men . . . none before God. A man deserving of “no penalty.” Holy . . . spotless . . . without blemish. Jesus was a man of innocent blood.
Judas’ testimony is a credible testimony. Having been with the Teacher from Nazareth for three years . . . having witnessed him in public . . . having been with him in private . . . he knew the Man . . . he had every opportunity to see Him in all situations . . . Judas knew Jesus intimately. And when the enveloping dark clouds of his greed and self-serving nature cleared a bit, he would look upon the One who had been berated, spit upon, and beaten and know, at the depths of his heart, that this was innocent blood.
And yet, He who knew no sin would be made sin for us (2Cor. 5:21).
The righteous and holy Son of God would willingly shed His innocent blood that those deserving Judas’ outcome might be rescued. That the price would be paid for their sin . . . that restitution might be made for their crimes against God . . . that reconciliation might be possible for those who had also turned their back on the God who made them . . . that redemption might be possible for those sold into the slavery of sin and death.
We were bought with the innocent blood of the Christ . . . that we might be born again to participate in the righteous nature of the Christ.
What unfathomable love of the Father . . . what amazing grace shown to those He desires as His children.
Praise God for innocent blood . . . and our glorious Savior!