How do the wicked not become overwhelmed with guilt? How can they boast, “only God can judge me,” without fear of that terrible day? The reality is that a morality of their own governs even murderers. It is a perverse and twisted virtue, and it should serve as a warning to the rest of us. If the wicked can blind themselves to their evil, so can we who seem to be morally upright.
Man’s ability for self-deception is astounding, and we get a glimpse of it in the chief priests who gave false counsel to have Jesus executed. No greater act of evil has ever occurred. They lied to kill the Son of God but notice what happens when Judas brings back the money they paid him to betray Jesus.
Judas hands them the money and says, “I have betrayed an innocent man.” The chief priests must then decide what to do with the money. They surmise they cannot put it in the temple’s treasury because it is blood money (Matt. 27:6).
Did you catch that? The same men who bore false witness to kill an innocent man are now concerned about adding blood money to the treasury. That would be like a human trafficker being concerned about properly paying taxes on his income.
Why do we play these morality games? I said “we” on purpose because we all have this tendency. It is not something only those who engage in horrific acts of evil do. We do this as a coping mechanism against the knowledge of our guilt. It is a way to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. It is a tactic that makes gang members who rob, maim, and kill think it is a good thing that “only God can judge them.”
They believe God will see them violating his laws and understand because they were in a challenging situation, and he will recognize their virtue because they love their mama. They have so deluded themselves that they believe, contrary to God’s word, that he will declare them righteous, but it will never work. They might be faithful in the small things but they neglect the weightier matters of the law.
These are extreme examples, but at one point, when we looked to our own righteousness to save us, all of us did the same. There are even some of us as Christians who continually play with our pet sins and write them off because we go to church and read our bibles regularly. Since we keep our pet sins and the means of grace separate, we convince ourselves that God takes our rebellion lightly because we refuse to put the blood money into the temple treasury.
Every time we do this, we lean on the morality of murderers as our source of hope on judgment day, and it will get us killed. There is only one way for the guilty to stand righteous before a holy God. We must reject our righteousness as filthy rags. We must admit we are sinners, and the phrase, “only God can judge me,” should terrify us.
After we admit our spiritual poverty, since we do not possess the righteousness we need, we must hunger and thirst for righteousness from another source. There is only one place we can find it. Jesus lived the perfect life we could not and then died to pay the debt of those who trust in him. Through faith, Christ’s perfect righteousness can be counted as ours. Do not trust in the morality of murderers on the day of judgment. Trust solely in the righteousness of Christ. Then through the power of the Holy Spirit, work to put to death the sin that remains in you.
One thought on “No Blood Money in the Temple Treasury”
Convicted. I am one of those who attend church regularly as well as reading my Bible and think I am in good shape when I am not. I surrender. Thanks for posting this.
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