Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, ” What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.”Matthew 27:3-6
He came to the priests confessing his sins. Sins were the priests’ job: their daily duties wore on and on to make atonement for the sins of the people. To come with sin to the priests: wasn’t that normal? In the books of the law were written all the procedures to follow: which animals, and how and where and when. The priests should have known. It was their job. But “What has it to do with us?”
There was more. These priests already knew about this sin. That money had come from their hands. If Judas sold innocent blood for thirty pieces of silver, it was the priests who had purchased it.
And surely they knew the laws commanded justice, condemned bribery, commended the cause of the innocent. “What has it to do with us?” Only everything. This sin was their sin; theirs the unjust bargain for blood. With death in their hearts they lifted ceremonially cleansed hands: “See to it yourself.”
But where else could he go? There was nowhere to buy back the Beloved betrayed. Customer service was closed. No refunds. No exchanges. Blood money fell on the temple floor, and the priests were forced to see to it.
And here we see them suddenly squeamish, fearing to put such unhallowed coins into the pure temple coffers: “The law does not permit”!
They should have known how Jeremiah foretold this, down to the number of coins, the name of the field. They weren’t the masterminds here.
Did they see it? How God was using wicked men to good purpose? How, while those appointed to handle sin failed so spectacularly at their job, a better sacrifice was being enacted, a better Priest installed? How the blood that polluted their contested currency was shed to purify the sins of the world?
These purportedly holy priests were bad blind men, yet the Jesus whom they crucified died and rose again to make bad people good and blind people see.
He has done it for me.
©️Stacy Crouch 2023
This post was originally published as a guest post on my husband’s blog Aliens and Pilgrims. I thoroughly recommend his blog (and not because he published me).