Silver Coins - Symbol of Betrayal

coins in a window
Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
- Matthew 27:3-4a [ESV]
Passages: Matthew 26:14-25; 27:1-9


What are your silver coins? It is difficult to know what Judas’ true motives were. For whatever reason, in his disillusionment, he sold his soul for a mere 30 pieces of silver. In a profound sense, Judas’ betrayal is not merely characteristic of him. Peter also betrayed Jesus by denying Him three times (Matthew 26:69-75). Likewise, each of us has betrayed Him in a sense. Every time we decide to go contrary to God’s way by allowing our anger to rule, not trusting God, seeking control, spending too much time in one activity over God, or idolizing something, we are trading our Lord for meager silver coins.

However, God’s grace prevails, as He “bought us with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Even while we were still enemies, Jesus “made peace by the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20). We can either respond to this grace with “worldly grief” or “godly grief" (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). The first leads to death and the second to repentance leading to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).

Peter responded to the grace of God with godly grief, and Judas responded with worldly grief, allowing his despair to consume him (Matthew 27:5; John 21:15-19). If Judas had come back to the love of his Savior, he could have been restored. Even in the midst of the act, Jesus tried to appeal to him throughout the Last Supper (John 13:1-30). Not only that, but Jesus chose Judas, knowing from the beginning that Judas would betray Him (John 6:64). What greater love of a Savior could there be! We too have the same choices to make when we trade Jesus for silver coins: godly grief or worldly grief. Jesus always redeems us back, which makes me grateful and grace-filled! Since we are bought with a price, we can replace our silver coins with His eternal treasure that lasts forever (Matthew 6:19-21).


My experience at CCU has been filled with amazing growth, especially through the personal investment of professors and students. It also has been filled with some hard times, where I did choose those silver coins over Jesus. However, some of the most vital life lessons have been learned in these years through experiences and amazing students, professors, and speakers. I had the privilege to go on a couple CCU2theWorld missions trips. I saw people who truly knew what it was to live in the joy of Christ no matter their circumstances and to seek His treasure when they lacked physical means (Philippians 4:11-12).

The eternal treasures we can pursue are relationship with Him and souls that have never heard the gospel, as we can take part in God’s ministry of reconciliation by helping others respond to the grace of God through trading their coins for Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We can choose to respond like Judas or Peter to God’s grace. Will you respond with earthly sorrow or worldly sorrow? What treasure will you choose?

Emily Downs
Class of 2024
Biblical Studies

Inspiration and insights taken from the following sources:

  1. France, R. T. The Gospel of Matthew. NICNT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.
  2. Wilkins, Michael J. Matthew. Edited by Terry Muck. The NIV Application Commentary 1. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004.
  3. Kotter, David. “Johannine and General Epistles.” Lecture presented at Colorado Christian University. Lakewood, CO. Spring Semester, 2024.