Acts 1:18-19 – (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. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

 

The death of Judas is the gospel in microcosm: that is, the defeat of Satan, and the vindication of Jesus. Judas handed Jesus over to be crucified; but Jesus rose from the dead. Judas bought a field; but fell headlong into it. And so it became known among the Jerusalemites  as Akeldama – Field of Blood. Jesus meanwhile ascended to his place with the Father, leaving nothing behind but an empty tomb. Justice is sweet. And Peter is keen to announce it. Not that he can claim innocence. Peter denied his Lord twice on the night of Jesus’ arrest. But whereas Judas’ betrayal was an act of apostasy, of the highest order, Peter’s denial has always been seen as a failure of courage. Indeed, Jesus prophesied as such (Luke 22:31-32), with the added promise that once Peter had been restored he would strengthen his brothers, which is what he is doing here. How encouraging for anyone who likewise has failed, which is pretty much all of us.

 

Prayer: Dear Lord, I find the story of Judas chilling, but the story of Peter heartening. Thank you there is grace for my fickleness.