Judas, once he saw what he did—that Jesus was actually arrested and actually condemned to die—changed his mind.
Something at that moment clicked.
Perhaps he thought they wouldn’t really get to Jesus. Or, maybe, just seeing it happen in real life changed how he felt.
Nevertheless, Judas became disgusted with himself. He tried to give the money back. He no longer wanted to be a part of what he’d done. He was in such anguish that he killed himself over it.
To some this is a convincing case. Maybe, after all that, Judas realized who Jesus really was.
Or maybe not.
But in the accounts what we never see is Judas arguing Jesus’ case. No matter how distraught he got, he never tried to change what he did.
He felt guilt…but not remorse.
There’s a wide gulf between guilt and remorse. We all feel guilty—that’s our moral compass. But remorse is the feeling that drives us to make a change. To try to fix it.
A lot of people feel guilt. Just like a lot of people look at Jesus as a great moral teacher.
But those things don’t make us right before God.
Only picking up a new path does that. His path.