December 30, 2021 – Matthew quotes the prophets

“The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me’” (Matthew 27:6-10).

Judas betrayed Jesus and turned him over to his enemies. Though not directly by his hands, Judas might as well himself killed Jesus. It’s hard to fathom how, having spent so much time with Christ, seeing his compassion, and hearing him teach, Judas could put into motion such a dastardly betrayal. But, then, the story is a reminder of the deceitfulness of the human heart apart from the Lord’s touch. The prophets understood and foresaw, and Matthew reports, that which so disturbs us. Jesus knew his betrayal was coming, yet, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2) for our sakes. So, we sing:

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word

That should set Thy people free;

But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn,

They bore Thee to Calvary.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee. -- E. S. Elliot (1864)

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