posted by Michael
Religious leaders paid 30 pieces of silver for Jesus’ life. They struck a deal with Judas, so that Jesus would be betrayed and delivered into their hands. When Matthew later recounted the story (Matthew 27), he tells his readers that when Judas saw that Jesus had been condemned to death he changed his mind. In a panic he goes to the religious leaders and returns the silver, telling them that Jesus was innocent of the charges leveled against him. The religious leaders already had what they wanted and told Judas as much. His crisis of conscience wasn’t their issue. Judas threw down the 30 coins onto the temple floor and left to take his own life. When news of Judas’ suicide reached the leaders, they gathered together to decide what to do with the money he had scattered at their feet. It seemed that using money to arrange someone’s death was acceptable, the resulting suicide of their hired henchman also seemed ok, but it would be unacceptable for that money to be put back into the temple treasury. So, they purchased a field in which to bury those among them who had no family or land upon which to be buried, a cemetery for the outcasts.
It’s at this point that we see that God’s story of redemption can burst forth in even the most horrific circumstances. The religious leaders purchased the life of Jesus with 30 pieces of silver, and then with those same coins also bought a field so that outcasts would have a place after they died. It’s as if they read Jesus’ mind. Jesus also wanted outcasts to have a home, and was a work to give them an eternal one.Whereas the leaders wanted a place to dispose of the undesirables to get them away from them, Jesus died to so that those same outcasts could be with him forever. He died so that all unwanted strangers would know the joy of being wanted. When people cast off, Jesus gathers in.