Yesterday we looked at the first part of Judas’ confession. Today we’ll look at part two.

2. Judas confessed that Jesus was innocent. “I have betrayed innocent blood.” was his testimony. Once again, a true statement. It was a powerful testimony to Jesus’ flawless character and a harsh indictment of the wicked character of the men who had condemned Jesus and to whom Judas spoke, But confessing the innocence of Jesus by itself never saved a single soul. Pilate did the same. In fact, he confessed Jesus to be innocent three times over during the course of the Roman trial: “I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 18:38); “I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 19:4); “I find no basis for a charge against him” (v. 6). But Pilate still turned him over to be crucified, just as Judas had betrayed him. Even the crowds that stood by and witnessed the crucifixion exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). But it is not recorded that any of them passed from spiritual death to spiritual life through faith in Christ.

Matthew chapter 27 begins with the handing over of Jesus to the Gentiles in the person of Pilate, the Roman governor. This was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy as well as of Jesus’ own predictions of his death. He had warned the disciples, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life” (Matthew 20:18, 19). The Gentiles' mocking, flogging, and crucifying of Jesus will now be described. But before Matthew recounts those events, he pauses to record the fate of Judas, the betrayer. Matthew is the only one of the four gospel writers to do this.

David knew the danger of bad company, which is why he spoke so often of avoiding evil doers. We are often uneasy when we read such passages, because they sound self-righteous, judgmental, and harsh. But that gets it exactly backward. The reason David did not want to associate with evildoers is not because he thought he was better than they were but because he was so much like them. He could not afford to be in their company if he wanted to live an upright life. We say, “Hate the sin, but love the sinner” Fine. But it is not always easy to do since love of the sinner, if we are not careful, often leads to love of the sinner’s vices. David was not sure that he could successfully love one and hate the other. So he decided to separate himself, as much as possible, from those who love and do evil. He prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24).
Today we will look at more reasons why Peter fell. 
2. Peter looked down on the other disciples. Peter would probably have denied that he looked down on the others. He would probably have said, “We are all in this together, boys. We are all only ‘unprofitable servants’ at best. Jesus said so, didn’t he” But deep in his heart Peter thought he was the most upright, the most perceptive, and the most courageous one... 
The third thing we can say in Peter’s defense is that Peter clearly loved Jesus. That is the only possible reason why he followed him. Like Mary, who is soon to be seen in the garden by the tomb weeping because she loved and missed the Master, Peter did not want to be far from his Lord. True, he wanted “to see the outcome.” But this was not idle curiosity. He must have thought that he would never be able to live with himself unless he saw this through and knew for certain what would become of Jesus. Peter failed in circumstances into which he would not even have come had he not loved Jesus greatly.