October 9 – Today’s Readings – Zechariah 10-12 and Psalms 99
Zechariah 11:10-13 reads, “Then I took my staff called ‘Favour’ and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. It was revoked on that day, and so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the LORD. I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’- the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.”
Now skip over with me and compare portions of Matthew 27:1-10 with what you’ve just read; “Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death… When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders …. So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself … So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners … Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded.”
What we find here is a New Testament event expressed by Old Testament Prophets – God Himself was the Shepherd but His sheep rejected Him. God’s response was to provide the “Great Shepherd”, Jesus, for the salvation of the world. The price paid? – His “salary”? – 30 pieces of silver! That was the price on the head of the Great Shepherd of our souls. The Jewish leaders were experts on the writings of Zechariah and Jeremiah. They knew these men had prophesied that the blood money paid for the Great Shepherd was going to be thrown into the house of the LORD and used to buy the potter’s field. Yet, when Judas returned the blood money, they did exactly what the prophets had foretold.
What is sad, but true is that people around the world still try to “buy” peace with God by paying off the religions they belong to – if they can do a certain number of good deeds or pay enough money, then they can “buy off” God.
In this passage, we also find that a “covenant” came to an end on that day. The contract of the “Old Testament” also ended when the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. [Matthew 27:51] We don’t normally think of the Old Testament as a “covenant” but in fact that is exactly what it was – much like the New Testament represents the “new covenant” in His blood. A testament is a contract that comes into effect when the “donor” dies. The New Testament came into effect the day Jesus died for our sins making us the wealthiest people imaginable. We have inherited ETERNAL LIFE!
1. What exactly did we inherit when the New Covenant was put in place?
2. What did the world gain when God instituted the New Testament?
3. How is it possible that people “give away” their eternal gift from God by rejecting Christ?