Then 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.
Let’s get back to the story and look at a few more lessons from Judas’ actions. First, partners in evil are not friends. It is common to speak of honor among thieves or imagine sentimental bonds among those who do evil. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Those who share in evil actions are not friends, and the reason they are not is because each is evil. They do not live for one another or to help one another. Christians do. But evil persons live for themselves, and when a comrade gets in trouble they are the first to abandon him to save their own hides. This was the case with the callous response of the priests and elders to Judas’ confession. “What’s that to us” they replied. “That’s your responsibility” (v. 4), That is how evil friends will treat you if you link up with them.
What Judas did should have meant something to them. If Judas had sinned against innocent blood, as he claimed, so had they. They had condemned to death one Judas was now declaring to be innocent. They were even more guilty than he was. Besides, according to Jewish law, the person arranging for the arrest of an offender had to be the one to make the formal legal accusation. Judas should have been the one to do that. He had not, of course. The Sanhedrin lost many hours trying to find a sustainable accusation. But even if Judas had not made an accusation, he was now doing the precise opposite, since he was declaring that the one whose arrest he had brought about was not guilty.
“What is that to us?” they replied. It should have meant everything to them, as I said. Their eternal destiny hung on their rejection of Jesus Christ. They needed to repent of their sin and turn to him for forgiveness and salvation. But they did not. They did not repent, and in their sin they had no use for their accomplice. They were too hardened to despair, as he did. But they perished anyway, as will all who reject Jesus Christ. These were wicked men, and their hypocritical propriety about how they used Judas’ blood money only makes their evil actions worse.