Judas hangs himself (Mt 27:5-27:5)

“Judas threw down

The pieces of silver

In the Temple.

He departed.

He went away.

He hanged himself.”

 

καὶ ῥίψας τὰ ἀργύρια εἰς τὸν ναὸν ἀνεχώρησεν, καὶ ἀπελθὼν ἀπήγξατο.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Judas threw down the 30 pieces of silver in the Temple (καὶ ῥίψας τὰ ἀργύρια εἰς τὸν ναὸν).  He left or departed as he went away (ἀνεχώρησεν, καὶ ἀπελθὼν).  Then he hanged or strangled himself to death (ἀπήγξατο).  Matthew was the only gospel to talk about Judas’ repentance and self-inflicted death.  Judas choose a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Peter had denied Jesus, but he just cried in his repentance.  Judas took the more drastic action of suicide that made it impossible for anyone to forgive him.

The despair of nothingness

The great sin of our life is giving up.  Despair with suicide is the decisive act of giving up, the ultimate sin against trust.  The final act of despair is suicide.  Without a belief in a forgiving caring God, life may seem more troublesome than the permanent sleep of death.  There are always people willing to help.  The worst answer to any problem is suicide.  You do not get any second chances after suicide.  The game is over.  You are dead.  Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary life problem.

Job would prefer the eternal rest in death (Job 3:11-3:19)

“Why did I not die at birth?

Why did I not come forth from the womb and then expire?

Why were there knees to receive me?

Why were there breasts for me to suck?

Now I would be lying down and quiet.

I would be asleep.

Then I would be at rest.

With kings and counselors of the earth.

They rebuilt ruins for themselves.

I would be asleep with princes who had gold,

Who filled their houses with silver.

Why was I not buried like a stillborn child?

Why was I not like an infant that never sees the light?

There the wicked cease from troubling.

There the weary are at rest.

There the prisoners are at ease together.

They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.

The small and the great are there.

The slave is free from his master.”

Job would prefer to be dead. Why didn’t he die at childbirth? Why didn’t he die as he left the womb? Why were there people to receive him? Why were there breasts to suck on? Otherwise, he could have eternal rest and quiet just like the kings, counselors, and princes with their monuments, gold, and silver. Why wasn’t he stillborn? He could be with the wicked who have no troubles, the prisoners who have no cares, and the slaves who have no masters. Death appears as a time of rest and no more troubles. Both the great and the small die. All have that eternal rest. This is often the allure of those who are thinking about suicide. However, I believe that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.