The passage of Matthew 27 begins and ends with suicide. Shortly after Judas had betrayed Jesus for a reward of thirty silver coins, he began to realize the gravity of the situation. Judas felt so remorseful that he couldn’t bear the idea of living another day. After returning the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Judas retreated to a place of silence and hung himself. As you can see, the first suicide mentioned in this passage is dark, unfruitful, and (as most suicides are) irreversible.
Further into the passage is the mention of another suicide and this particular suicide doesn’t fit the traditional description. However, the term “suicide” rightfully applies because it involves a man taking his own life. The difference in this specific case is that this man intentionally died so that we could live. And this man is no other than our celebrated Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus took His own life so that, unlike Judas, we wouldn’t need to face each day thinking that our only answer is hopelessness and death. Jesus became sin so we wouldn’t need to face the gravity of our own sin. He treated His life as currency by exchanging it so that you and I could have the reward of salvation. That’s worth far more than thirty pieces of silver.
In contrast to the first suicide mentioned in the passage, Jesus’s suicide was the opposite of dark, unfruitful, and irreversible. Although He endured a horrendous death as a result of charges He did not commit, I believe the last word Jesus would use to describe His death is “dark.” On the contrary, the death of our Lord brought an irreplaceable light into our hearts- one that also penetrates the world. Our hearts no longer need to suffer the dark torment of captivity to fear, anxiety, lust, pain, and evil. Jesus is light and His death was the perfect manifestation of light. “Unfruitful” is another term that is absent from this case of suicide. Rather than having a precious life go to waste, Jesus’s precious life was used to revive mankind. His loss of life translated into our gain of Heaven. For that, His death was and will remain the most fruitful.
Lastly, and more importantly, Jesus’s death was not the end. Judas’s decision to take his life resulted in an irreversible action. But Jesus’s decision to take His life resulted in His resurrection. Jesus rose again. Death’s one duty of creating irreversible damage had no place in this situation. Jesus conquered the grave. God pulled the sting out of death by completely defeating it. And He did so by playing the game.
And that, dear friends, is what I call a glorious suicide.