27. Acts 1:15-20
In those days Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters —the number of people who were together was about a hundred and twenty—and said: “Brothers and sisters, it was necessary that the Scripture be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David foretold about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was one of our number and shared in this ministry.” Now this man acquired a field with his unrighteous wages. He fell headfirst, his body burst open and his intestines spilled out. This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that in their own language that field is called Hakeldama (that is, Field of Blood). “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his dwelling become desolate; let no one live in it; and Let someone else take his position.
This is quite brutal to imagine, but the seemingly conflicting biblical accounts as to what happened physiologically when Judas hanged himself likely align. Even this grisly suicide fulfilled something David prophesied in Psalm 69 and 109. Matthew 27:3-5 reads, “Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,’ he said. ‘What’s that to us?’ they said. ‘See to it yourself!’ So he threw the silver into the temple and departed. Then he went and hanged himself.”
There is some confusion over this, but there are actually two fields whose names are translated “Field of Blood” in the biblical text. The one purchased in Matthew 27:7,9 by the chief priests with the blood money initially paid to Judas and then later returned by Judas was named with the Greek word Argos. The property purchased by Judas according to this text was named with the Greek Chorion. Both words are aptly translated “field,” thus the confusion in English.
Take a moment to appreciate the full arc of Peter’s development into a bold leader. The burgeoning church had multiplied to almost ten times the number of disciples! Right before the crucifixion, Peter cowered at the accusation of a servant girl, denying Jesus. Now, he was rising up as a leader.
Is this season your Acts 1:15 moment like it was for Peter? Is it time to rise to leadership?
Pray: Ask God to redeem your tragedies. He worked through Judas. He can work through you.