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30 Pieces of Silver
Matthew 26:3-5, Matthew 26:14-16
“Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.”
The Wednesday of Holy Week is usually termed “Spy Wednesday”. The Sanhedrin got what they wanted, a disciple who was willing to betray Jesus. Now the plot required finding the right opportunity to arrest Jesus and not stir the people gathered for Passover.
Judas took thirty pieces of silver for his treachery, which is the price that would be paid to someone if their slave was gored by a bull (Exodus 21:32). According to Christianity.com, this cost of betrayal also fulfills the prophecy in Zechariah 11:13 about the price of the Savior’s life, which is as much as a servant’s life. Thirty silver shekels was not much money and it also also reflects the very low value the Jewish leaders put on the life of Jesus
As we look at our materialistic lives, how much is needed to persuade us to turn our backs on God? Would a little bit of money be sufficient? Would the approval of others drive us to deny God? Would threats to our security and lives be enough to make us turn away? Are we afraid to witness to others about our beliefs because we are ashamed? Jesus said that those who deny Him on Earth will also be denied by Jesus as we stand before God. During this Holy Week, recall that Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, but Peter was restored to his church leadership position because of his abject cries for redemption and forgiveness. Jesus wants to forgive us, which is why it is so important to confess our sins through prayer and be strong in our faith and not deny or hide our light.