The Betrayal

On Wednesday of Holy Week, we traditionally think this is the day when Judas decides to betray Jesus. There is a short reference to Judas’ plan in Matthew 26:14-16.

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Have you ever been betrayed by someone you trusted? Perhaps even a friend? Using words like trust, betrayal, and friend in a sentence doesn’t paint a comforting picture. Yet, Jesus was betrayed and sold for 30 pieces of silver. it immediately brings to mind a traitor or someone who would sell out a friend.

My curiosity today surrounds these 30 pieces of silver. What exactly did Judas receive to betray Jesus? Was it worth it to him?

In the Hebrew culture, thirty pieces of silver was not a lot of money. A rough equivalent for today in 2022 would be about $200. In fact, it was the exact price paid to the master of a slave if and when his slave was gored by an ox (see Exodus 21:32). In order to compensate for a slave’s death and burial, it was written into law that 30 pieces of silver would account for the cost.

Judas sold Jesus for the price of a slave as Christ laid down His life as the ultimate gift for you and me. It would appear that Judas did not betray Jesus for a payday. Did Judas do it out of jealousy for the attention that Jesus received? Did Judas do it because Jesus upset the religious establishment so very much? Did Judas do it because he did not value his relationship with Jesus much at all? I don’t think we will know the whole story of Judas on this side of eternity.

I hope we will not betray Jesus in our thoughts, words, or deeds. The King of kings is worth so much more than the death and burial of a gored slave.

In His Grip,

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