Bible Characters – Judas
Bible Characters – Judas
Judas’ life began to unravel, and his choices ended in unendurable remorse and death at his own hand.
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Bible passages

Matthew 26:20–23

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.”

Matthew 27:1–5

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 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. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.


The Last Supper is the beginning of the Christian Eucharist. Throughout the centuries since then Christians have done as Jesus asked, and broken bread and shared wine in memory of him. It was most probably a Passover meal, at which by tradition the host would dip into the blessing cup a piece of bread, and offer the sop of bread-soaked wine to his honoured guest.

At the Last Supper, when Jesus celebrated with his friends the Passover, that momentous occasion when the people of God were protected from death’s angel by the blood of the sacrificial lamb smeared on the lintels of their houses, he the host offered the sop to the guest who that night stood most in need of his love, Judas, who would betray him.

From that moment on Judas’ life began to unravel, and his choices ended in unendurable remorse and death at his own hand. He became unbearable to himself. But it did not stop there. God does not give up that easily.

At every Eucharist in the course of 2,000 years, one by one by one, millions of believers have stood in the place of Judas and humbly received the bread and wine held out by the divine host for the transformation of souls and the healing of the world. God has never given up on Judas. We are all one in Jesus. In each one of us Judas the betrayer is sought, beheld, and forgiven. The Judas in us is touched and cleansed by the Jesus we meet in bread and wine.



O God of love, your kindness and mercy are inexhaustible. You never give up on us, never abandon us, and never turn anybody away. In the quietness now, we open our hearts to you. We ask you to look well, and begin to heal and transform any shadows of resentment, any old grudges, any scars of toxic shame. Forgive us, loving Father, for the things we are ashamed of, the things we have done wrong, and give us grace, in our turn, to forgive. For we ask it in Jesus’ holy name; Amen.