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Passion Week

Judas Hangs Himself

Scripture

Matthew 27:1-10

Commentary

Judas hanging himself is barely worth noting in this passage for all the more time spent on it.  It is necessary to contrast this account with that of Acts 1 however.

In Acts 1, it is recorded that Judas fell headlong into a field and body burst open and his intestines spilled out.  This can be easily reconciled with the account in Matthew 27.  According to tradition, Judas hung himself over a cliff.  At some point the rope or the branch broke, sending Judas tumbling which resulted in the description of Acts 1.

The other possibility is even more gruesome but also a fitting end for Judas.  No one got him down after he hung himself.  There are two very good reasons for this.  One is that anyone who hung on a tree was considered cursed.  Two is that touching a dead body left a person ceremonially unclean and no one was going to do this for Judas' sake.  He hung there until he began to rot and and some point the rope or branch gave way.  Because of the amount of time which had passed, Judas split open when he hit the ground.

It is ironic that the chief priests will not take Judas' money back because it was considered "blood money" but they had no problem paying that blood money to have an innocent man killed.  This twisted logic explains the Jewish leaders well and gives us an understanding as to why Jesus so frequently clashed with them on their hypocrisy.

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