ACTS 1:18-19 // Unforgivable?
(With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
Was his sin unforgivable. Judas obviously thought so. But it doesn’t seem to be – judging by other sins we see forgiven in scripture. So it was not necessarily the cost of the sin that Judas found unrepayable. Literally, there was a price paid in silver that could have been repaid and Jesus would no doubt have offered out forgiveness to his friend. The debt for all sin was paid in the pain and anguish of the cross. The sacrificial lamb has taken on our iniquity. Taken on Judas’s iniquity. But, it is the shame narrative to sin that can so often seem unquenchable. And for Judas led to his death. How often does the accuser attack with lies such as, ‘if people knew what you were really like’ or, ‘if they knew you’d done that they’d never forgive you’. Shame is powerful, but confession and forgiveness are far more incredible. James, Jesus brother, would have walked this season with the disciples. Perhaps even stood in this moment with Peter. He wrote in his letter, ‘Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed’ (James 5:16). I wonder how many Judas moments he experienced before writing this? I wonder whether James had opportunity to speak the same words of wisdom directly to Judas? I wonder if we will heed his words. Your sins are forgiven.
Are there any sins for which you still experience shame? Bring them before God and confess them to a trusted pastor or friend. As you confess them trust that the power will be broken and bring healing.
God of forgiveness let me know and experience my forgiveness. Let my pride not get in the way of the power of your sacrifice.