Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 27:1-10
We all make mistakes in life. What should we do when we make mistakes? There are three offerings that the Bible describes in the Old Testament. They can give us insights.
First, we have a sin offering (Exodus 29:14). It is for atonement. We are saying, “I am sorry, forgive me!” to God. Our God is gracious and forgiving. When we say sorry and ask forgiveness, God promises to forgive us. So, we are forgiven. However, our mistakes are not solved just because we have reconciliation with God.
Second, there is a guilt offering (Leviticus 5:19). It is to make peace in ourselves. We are basically saying to ourselves, “I feel guilty when I do that. I will not do it again!” So, we have to reconcile with ourselves also.
Third, there is a peace offering (Leviticus 3:1). After you have reconciled with God and yourself, you still have to make peace with your neighbors. So, you offer this peace offering to share meals with others. You are saying actually, “I will pay back the damage” while offering a renewal of your relationship to others.
If we examine those three types of offerings, we know what a biblical way to correct our mistake is. We have to say all these five sentences and do the follow up actions.
1) “I am sorry!” 2) “Forgive me!” (Sin Offering)
3) “I have done this and that.” 4) “I will not do this and that again.” (Guilt Offering)
5) “I will compensate the damage!” (Peace Offering)
However, when Judas Iscariot made mistakes, he did not take any of these steps. He did not go to Jesus and said, “I am sorry, forgive me!” He went to the chief priests and the elders. Wrong people to talk to!
Judas said to them “I have sinned for I have betrayed innocent blood.” He admitted that he betrayed innocent blood but he could not say that he would not do it again. It was the fatal mistake and Jesus was going to die. Judas could not change the course of events.
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. He could not compensate the damage and he killed himself! However, killing oneself is not a biblical way to correct a mistake. When we want to correct our mistakes, we have to continue living and making up for them. Stay alive and work hard until you pay them all up!
I want to just add one comment, though. We should not judge those who have committed suicide. We simply do not know what their last prayer was. Even though someone committed suicide, he or she could have said to God in their heart, “Lord, forgive me! I have sinned!” Then our gracious God would forgive them instantly. Anybody who acknowledges their weaknesses and asks God’s forgiveness will be forgiven! That is God’s Grace! That is God’s unconditional love! So, let us not judge others because we simply do not know what their last wish was! Let us correct our mistakes one at a time! Our Lord, Jesus, has already gone the way before us and put the signs on the way, “Come, follow me, the way to my Cross will lead you home!”
• If you remember some mistakes in your life, what would you do now having learned the biblical steps towards reconciliation?
• What are the things that make you hesitate? How would you overcome those?