555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

138. Was It Repentance or Remorse That Drove Judas to Suicide?

All we know is what the Scripture tells us. It may have been remorse, or chagrin over the failure of his plans, but it could hardly have been repentance. It was suggested by DeQuincey, with some plausibility, that in betraying Christ, he was seeking to precipitate a crisis, out of which he expected to see Christ emerge triumphant He thought Christ would use his miraculous power to save himself, and when in danger of death, would declare himself King, and would set up his kingdom, in which the disciples would hold high office. When he found that Christ intended to submit, he perceived that his scheme to force his hand had failed, and he was overwhelmed by the catastrophe he had precipitated. The suggestion is not sustained by the conception we gain of him in the Gospels, but it is possible to imagine an ambitious and avaricious man acting in that way; if, as is possible, he was impatient with Christ, who had powers so great and yet was so slow to use them to advance his own interests and those of the men who had left all to follow him, he may have tried this scheme. The suggestion, however, is pure conjecture. No one has been able to analyze satisfactorily the character of Judas.