Sunday, June 13, 2010
Sold out at the cost of a slave
I have long loved these words from Philippians about Christ's great humility:
"Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminial's death on a cross." Philippians 2:6-8 (emphasis mine)
The long awaited Anointed One took the humble position of a slave. He was poor, though He owned everything. He washed His disciples feet, though they weren't worthy even to sit at His table. He suffered death on a cross, though He was Sovereign Lord of the universe.
He took the humble position of a slave and was even sold out at the cost of a slave.
"Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, 'How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?' And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus." Mathew 26:14-16 (emphasis mine)
"But if the ox gores a slave, either male or female, the animal's owner must pay the slave's owner thirty silver coins..." Exodus 21:32 (emphasis mine)
So a slave's life was valued to be worth 30 silver coins according to the law of restitution.
But, "a man between the ages of twenty and sixty is valued at fifty shekels of silver..." (Leviticus 27:3) based on the redemption value of gifts offered to the Lord.
So a slave was valued to be worth a little over half that of a free man.
I don't know whether the leading priests had this insult in mind when they paid Judas to betray the Lord, but I do know that it wasn't a coincidence. Christ willingly came to earth as a suffering servant. This is not what most of the Jews were expecting. It's not what most of us look for in a Savior, either, but it was God's perfect plan. Of course, it wasn't the end of God's plan. The next three verses in the Philippians passage quoted above tell the rest of the story.
"Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.