The worst exchange of all was thirty pieces of silver for the life of Christ.
Thirty pieces of silver for the creator of the universe. Thirty pieces of silver for the savior of the world. Thirty pieces of silver for the only begotten Son of God. It was a bargain to say the least. Thirty pieces of silver bought freedom for us, but total devastation for the man who did the deal.
How could he have done this? How could you walk with Jesus for three years and deliver Him up to His enemies to die in the end? How could you listen to His words, observe His miracles, feel His love, and still betray Him? How could you be that close and not know Him and love Him for who He was? Judas must have had some huge resentment building in him for a long time that turned him into a bitter, bitter man. Why else would he have done this? This didn’t just come on him from nowhere — “Oh, I think I’ll betray Jesus today.” No, this is the work of the evil one over time. Judas sold his soul for a lot more than 30 pieces of silver. He must have thought he was getting more than this.
Actually, Judas was already on a slippery slope. When, earlier, at the home of Lazarus, Mary had anointed the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume, Judas had objected: “‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:4-6).
Why do you suppose God put Judas into His story? Did He want us to reflect on how we betray the Lord in our own lives and for what? What is the price of our betrayal? Did He want us to understand how you can be so near and yet so far away? Did He want us to realize we will have evil in our midst and not know it?
It’s true that Jesus could have gotten rid of Judas a lot earlier. Certainly He knew what was brewing in his soul, yet He did nothing about it. Maybe this was a part of reality He wanted us all to realize is a part of life. Jesus’ little group of followers had everything, including an enemy in their midst. Life is like that.
Isn’t Judas also the first person Jesus gave absolution to? Jesus gave the bread and wine to Judas even before He gave them to the other Apostles: I believe that indicates that Jesus forgives, unconditionally, even the worst offenders against Him. It’s up to us to receive that forgiveness: something Judas never grasped.
Amen: “It’s up to us to receive that forgiveness: something Judas never grasped.”
And I hope I’ll NEVER be self-righteous enough to even think I’m better to never have betray Jesus – I know that I know EVERYTIME I sin, I do too!
Drew, where is the reference for that absolution? I missed that.
I have to disagree… the worst exchange of all was Jesus’ life for mine.
Very good & insightful comment Dave – I’ll include myself in that to!
The involvement of Judas in this story teaches us several things.
1. It is possible to appear as a follower but be a complete fake.
2. Not ALL conspiracy theories are nonsense. People conspired to kill Jesus and someone on the inside was involved.
3. Christians are not always to blame when the gospel isn’t received. Jesus said and did everything right. Still, somehow Judas wasn’t getting it.
4. Nothing corrupts like the love of money. 30 pieces of silver plus whatever he took from the money bag proved worthless. In the same way, billions of dollars mean nothing to one without a soul.
30 shekels of silver…The worst exchange yields the best result in the commerce of the Lord! Another affirmation of OT prophesy and of God’s divine symmetry and grace:
Thirty in Hebrew numerology represents the life cycle in miniature. Perfect order (3 x10), maturity for official ministry or service, price of bondservant, time of mourning a life.
Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46).
Aaron was mourned for thirty days (Num. 20:29).
Moses was mourned for thirty days (Dt. 34:8).
Priests that handled the most holy things began their official service at age thirty. (Num. 4)
The redemption price for a bondservant gored by an ox is 30 shekels of silver (Ex. 21:32).
Zechariah prophetically asks Judah to estimate his value. He is valued at 30 shekels of silver (Zech 11:12-13).
King David began to reign when he was thirty years old (2 Sam. 5:4).
Jesus was thirty years old when His ministry began (Luke 3:23).
Judas betrays Jesus for 30 shekels of silver to the chief priests, who are the OT religious leaders charged with shedding the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the Day of Atonement. (Mt. 26:15).
Jesus is the promised Messiah…crucified so that we could be redeemed, our sin debt forever paid through his shed blood…and resurrected so that we could be reconciled to God, able to fulfill His life song for us on earth and then privileged to join Him for an eternity of shalom peace and worship in heaven. Hallelujah…He is Risen…He is Risen indeed!!