“1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.” (Matthew 27:1-8)
In the morning, the priests take Jesus to be tried by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. They bind his hands together and drag him to the Antonia Fortress. Judas Iscariot witnesses Jesus’ trial and humiliation and immediately regrets betraying him. He returns the thirty pieces of silver he received for turning Jesus in and subsequently hangs himself. The priests, understanding that this money is impure, use it to purchase a burial ground for foreigners in a field beside the Valley of Hinnom. Judas’ treason was necessary. Crisis and collapse are an integral part of any redemption. It is the price paid for implementing the highest human standards. Only by expressing remorse can a person attain true forgiveness and restoration.
Loyalty requires self-respect and the humility necessary to put others above ourselves.