“Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.” Matthew 27:3-4
Matthew 27 is devoted to the trial and crucifixion of Christ. Judas expressed remorse and returned the money to the Chief Priest. The men who had plotted Jesus’ death were indifferent regarding whether or not He was innocent. However, they were “spiritual” enough that they did not want to place the returned money in the Temple treasury: “And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood” (v. 6). Evidently, they thought it proper to sacrifice an innocent Man to protect their nation, which they perceived was threatened by His existence.
Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, and was affirmed by his wife: “For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (vv. 18-19). For fear of the people rioting, Pilate executed an innocent Man.
While Jesus hung on the cross, “… the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself he cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth” (vv. 41-44). These men knew that Jesus had delivered others from death and questioned if Jesus could do it for Himself. Did they actually believe this? Was their objective so important in their eyes that they felt justified in doing this? Be careful that you do not sacrifice what you know is right for the sake of expediency.