HG156-158 Matthew 26:58, 69-27:10, Mark 14:54, 66-15:1, Luke 22:54-71, John 18:15-18, 25-27, Acts 1:18-19

Harmony of the Gospels  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:49
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Matthew 26:58 NIV
58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
Matthew 26:69–27:10 NIV
69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. 1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. 2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
Acts 1:18–19 NIV
18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
Today we are looking at two obvious characters in this sorry tale but in this journey we will find others just as or more important than them. Last week we saw Judas betray his friend to be arrested by the 600 Roman Soldiers and that Jesus stepped forward, being in full control of history, set on doing His Father’s will. In doing so He ordered those who had come to arrest them to let the others go and they obeyed! But, from now on, we see that Jesus is not the one in charge of the action but having things done to Him. He was bound. He was led away. He was delivered to Pilate.
In the meantime we see one of them who escaped, being Peter. Far from completely going into hiding his curiosity got the better of him. Or, perhaps, he had a plan to save Jesus.
Peter, who did not get a wink of sleep, ventured into the courtyard of the high priest’ house where Jesus was being held but still fearful, still defensive, still unsure what to do and he immediately regretted ever going there and from the first time he was challenged to the last we see that he is headed for the exit and then without knowing it and whilst seemingly impossible just a few short hours ago he had denied Jesus not once, not twice, but three times and realising once and for all that he had let down his dear friend and with overwhelming shame he left, leaving behind his companion and Lord to face the music alone.
How can we judge what we would do in the same situation? All to quick to judge are we but if it had been you or me who knows how we would have reacted. You see; fear, tiredness, tricks of the mind cause emotional and psychological moods that are hard to control and can put us out of our minds. After all, he was in an unprecedented situation that must have shocked him to the core. We need to be aware of our own make up and what makes us tick and what can push us over the edge, we need to make sure we are doing our best to look after our bodies. I am becoming more and more aware as I get older what lack of sleep or types of food I eat can effect me as a person …the things that can put me high and those that can put me low.
Yet the contrast of Peter, or ourselves, with Jesus, who was also with a human body, always did the perfect will of God despite the stress, strains, tiredness and all the other things that we can use as an excuse to not obey or make sure we do things our way. And so we, who are filled with His Spirit have no excuse either.
It is not until the cock crows does the realisation come home. All the bravado, claimed loyalty, self-confidence goes out the window and in its place we discover cowardice, unfaithfulness and fear. Just as Peter denied the third time and the cockerel crowed Jesus was being taken through that same courtyard no doubt on His way to Pilate and Jesus caught Peter’s eye. How devastating! It must have pierced Peter’s heart for unlike Jesus before His inquisitors He stood firm whilst Peter gave in to girls and those who really had no interest in him. Why are we told so much about Peter’s denials? It is to contrast the difference between Jesus and Peter and to realise that even for failures like Peter, Jesus gave His life. For Peter this was the start of his repentance and restoration and call to mission.
Matthew Henry said:
The crowing of the cock is to Peter, instead of John the Baptist, the voice of one calling to repentance.
All this is in sharp contrast to Judas. Anyone in our families called Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Philip, James and John? We all do. They are the names of the apostles. But what about Judas? Know anyone by that name? Of course not! That’s because Judas Iscariot is the most infamous person in history. To be a Judas is to be what? Yes! A traitor. How we despise him! Of course, we would not think that there is any of his character in any of us, surely?!
There are others in this story which could easily be missed for they seem to be eclipsed by Peter and Judas but what of the chief priests and elders, who if it had not been for them, Jesus would not have been arrested, tried and crucified.
Did you know that Judas tried to repent. Yes, he did! in verse 4 he admits his crime and wants to return the money. Judas really repented! And yet he was spurned by those same priests who were supposed to say to him how he should go about his repentance. But what do they say: We don’t care…it’s your problem…sort it out yourself. So much for justice and mercy and faithfulness, right?
So Judas throws the money into the temple, departed, went and hanged himself. And just like that his life was over and the money, after a religious council give their decree to buy the field where Judas hung himself not realising that again, they were fulfilling prophecy. In Acts, by the way, we are told that Judas bought the field. Well, he did, just posthumously. The field was bought in his name with his money.
The problem for Judas was he should have gone back to Jesus for forgiveness and instead ran to another tree to die. He killed himself. Suicide. Self-murder. This is a heinous crime however it is not unforgivable. To life a life without Jesus is. To die without Him is. And now, him that Jesus said “woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” (Matt 26.24) He is now in hell. He lost hope, lost hope in Jesus and is lost for eternity.
This saying of Jesus about Judas is the thing that most concerns me about the rest of the human race. 150,000 people die on average every day. We say there is a crisis with the Coronavirus which also has the potential to kill many. But this is just the physical body. What happens thereafter? Will it have been better for them to never have been born?
Judas should have gone to the cross. Everyone should go to the cross. This is too general now unless you are going to hear it as a call to arms to tell people of Jesus. But what are ‘you’ going to do about sin? Everyone has to go to Jesus for it is only in Him that the guilty can be made innocent through the only One who was innocent, the one put to death for our sin.
There is no sin, including betrayal, including murder, including lies, including any sin you can think of that cannot be forgiven. But it is all at the cross. What is that great chorus?
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
It is innocent blood shed for guilty sinners.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
That God sent Jesus to save us from sin and to die shows us the awfulness of sin. He does not demand that we put everything right before we come to Him but after we come to Him we turn from all that put Jesus on the cross and turn to the cross for salvation, forgiveness and eternal life.
Judas despaired that there was no road back for him, he then hoped in religion to save him but here he realised just how harsh religion is. You cannot work your way to God or tip the scales in your favour even if we genuinely want forgiveness and genuinely desire to turn from all our wicked ways. Otherwise most of the world’s population would now have forgiveness. But there is only one way back and Peter found that as we see towards the end of John’s gospel. And that way is through Jesus alone:
John 14:6 NKJV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Acts 4:12 NKJV
12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Come back this day if you are already His and genuinely turn from your ways, confessing your sin to Him. Come to Him this day if you are not. Ask Him into your life to be your Saviour and He will be both Saviour and Lord. Follow Jesus who provides all that we will ever need, for this life and the next.


We are here today because we have been bought by the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It was at the cross that we found true freedom and it is at the cross we continue to find peace for our hearts and minds. The price paid for our sins was so grievous. Jesus made sure that He laid down His life for us to set us sinners free.
1 Corinthians 11:23–26 NKJV
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.


2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 NKJV
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.


O’Donnell, D. S. (2013). Matthew: All Authority in Heaven and on Earth. (R. K. Hughes, Ed.). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
Paterson, A. (2010). Opening Up John’s Gospel. Leominster: Day One Publications.
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