Good Friday wasn’t so good for Judas. The guilt-ridden betrayer of Jesus hung himself and then fell headlong, spilling his innards. Hence, the residents later named the place where it happened, “Akeldema,” or “Field of Blood” (Acts 1:18-19).
Judas may have chosen this place to die for a specific reason.
Today, the peaceful Monastery of St. Onuphrius at Akeldema offers no clue to the fact that Judas killed himself at that site—nor does it reveal the Hinnom Valley’s sordid history.
Horrific atrocities occurred in the Hinnom Valley during the days of Judah’s kings (2 Chronicles 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31).
In Jesus’ day, the city dump lay in this gorge. Some suggest that fires continually burned the trash, and so Jesus used the smoldering landfill of Gehenna as an illustration of hell’s eternal flames (Mark 9:43).
Because Jesus compared the Hinnom Valley to hell, one has to wonder if this is the reason Judas’s desperate regret led him to end his life in this ravine.
Like Judas, you have failed. But Judas’ shame doesn’t have to be yours.
Good Friday gives your shame a choice.
Peter shows us why.
The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
The best place to view Akeldema is from the balcony at the southeast corner of the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. Not only does the location give a great view, but it also offers a great lesson.
On the same Good Friday that Judas’ shame took his life, Peter committed a sin just as wrong as Judas did.