About that time Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus had been condemned to die, changed his mind and deeply regretted what he had done, and brought back the money to the chief priests and other Jewish leaders.
“I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”
“That’s your problem,” they retorted.
Then he threw the money onto the floor of the Temple and went out and hanged himself. The chief priests picked the money up. “We can’t put it in the collection,” they said, “since it’s against our laws to accept money paid for murder.”
They talked it over and finally decided to buy a certain field where the clay was used by potters, and to make it into a cemetery for foreigners who died in Jerusalem. That is why the cemetery is still called “The Field of Blood.”
This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah which says, “They took the thirty pieces of silver—the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel—and purchased a field from the potters as the Lord directed me.”
These chief priests felt no guilt in giving Judas money to betray an innocent man, but when Judas returned the money, the priests couldn’t accept it because it was wrong to accept money paid for murder! Their hatred for Jesus had caused them to lose all sense of justice.
Jesus’ formal accuser wanted to drop his charges, but the religious leaders refused to halt the trial. When he betrayed Jesus, perhaps Judas was trying to force Jesus’ hand to get him to lead a revolt against Rome. This did not work, of course. Whatever his reason, Judas changed his mind, but it was too late.
Many of the plans we set into motion cannot be reversed. It is best to think of the potential consequences before we launch into an action we may later regret.