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An unfortunate event?

Was Jesus’ death an accident? The religious leaders it seems were wanting that to be the general consensus reached by the general population. In their collusion with Judas, they measured out to him 30 pieces of silver in return for knowledge about his so-called Master’s whereabouts. That was not a number simply plucked out of the air, but part of the Jewish law concerning the accidental or careless death of slaves.

According to the law (Exodus 21:32), if a slave was accidentally or carelessly killed by a bull, then the owner of the slave was to be recompensed 30 pieces of silver by the owner of the bull. By extension and application, so would be the case if an owner’s slave was accidentally run over by someone’s chariot. The fact that the Temple leaders counted out 30 pieces of silver meant that they were setting up the crime scene to look like Jesus’ death was merely an unfortunate event, and were paying Judas accordingly.

But the Book says something else about the 30 pieces of silver. According to the prophet Zechariah, that was the exact amount applied to the rejection (that is, “Here’s your pay. Now go!”) of both God’s prophet and of God himself, and a foreshadow of a more significant day to come. For in the economy of God, there was a higher plan at work, and what looked like an Easter accident, was in fact one of the most deliberate acts in the history of the world.

DM 23rd March 2021


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