I Would Have Sold Him For Less

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
(Matthew 26:14-16 ESV)

This past Lord’s Day has been a blessing. In actuality when is it not? To consider that the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Son of God, has allowed us, sinful fallen men, to assemble and present our unworthy worship to Him is humbling in itself, but the fact that God doesn’t take the opportunity to unleash the wrath that we deserve while He has us in one spot is testimony to his patience, mercy, and grace. This is the same patience, mercy, and grace that he did not withhold from his very own son, the spotless, tempted and tried, Son of Man.

Of course, this Easter season, it is right and expected that those of us who have been washed clean by the selfless sacrifice of Jesus reflect on the Passion of Christ that led him to willingly to Golgotha, but as I had the opportunity to reflect on Judas Iscariot since I was blessed to play his cursed role in a service at church, I spent that time reflecting on what we know about this man who was trusted by the rest of the twelve.

Judas, cursed as he was, was part of a sovereign plan that was set in eternity past. We all look at this man with contempt and disdain that he was so calloused and evil that he would sell The Savior to those he knew were plotting to kill him for 30 pieces of silver. I don’t know how much that is worth then or today, nor does it matter, he placed his own evil interest and desire for self gain to high on his list of things he worships that he sold Jesus Christ to those who despised every ounce of his being.  Here is the hard part: I am glad he did.

I am glad he did because he fulfilled the sovereign plan of the Triune God to fulfill the prophesy of  Zechariah and Jeremiah symbolically with the 30 pieces of silver. It may not seem as though it is an important detail, It would not add or take away from the obvious observations that someone sold the Lord for their gain! But God actually did have this detail in mind, centuries and centuries prior when the prophets alluded to this betrayal in their writings, so praise God for 30 pieces of silver, that led Jesus to Calvary to redeem a fallen world and offer mankind the promise of life. Apart from the grace of almighty God, I would have sold him for less.

Thirty pieces of silver for the Lord of life they gave:
Thirty pieces of silver—only the price of a slave,
But it was the priestly value of the holy One of God:
They weighed it out in the temple, the price of the Saviour’s blood.

Thirty pieces of silver laid in Iscariot’s hand:—
Thirty pieces of silver, and the aid of an armed band,
Like a lamb that is brought to the slaughter, led the Holy Son of God
At midnight from the garden where His sweat had been as blood.

Thirty pieces of silver burned in the traitor’s brain:
Thirty pieces of silver! but oh! it is hellish gain:
`I have sinned and betrayed the guiltless,’ he cried with a fevered breath
And he cast them down in the temple and rushed to a madman’s death.

Thirty pieces of silver lay in the House of God:

Thirty pieces of silver, but oh! ’twas the price of blood.

And so, for a place to bury the stranger in, they gave
The price of their own Messiah Who lay in a borrowed grave.

It may not be for silver: it may not be for gold;
But still by tens of thousands is this precious Saviour sold.—
Sold for a godless friendship, sold for a selfish aim,
Sold for a fleeting trifle, sold for an empty name!

Sold in the mart of science! sold in the seat of power!
Sold at the Shrine of Fortune! sold in Pleasure’s bower!
Sold, where the awful bargain none but God’s eye can see:
Ponder, my soul, the question, ‘Shall He be sold by thee?’

Sold! O God, what a moment! stifled is con­science’ voice:
Sold! and a weeping angel records the awful choice:
Sold! but the price of the Saviour to a living coal shall turn,
With the pangs of remorse for ever deep in the soul to burn.

—William Blane

(Exod. 21. 32; Zech. 11. 12, 13; Matt. 26. 15; 27. 3, 4)

Still, as of old, man by himself is priced:
For thirty silver pieces Judas sold himself, not Christ.

(Matt. 27. 3, 4; Acts 1. 18)


The Myth of the Unpardonable Sin

Salvation and Eternal Security

Regarding the specific question concerning a loved one’s eternal security, my response, in summary, usually sounds something like the following.

There is nothing in the Bible that ever indicates that a believer in Christ can ever lose their salvation, their eternal security. The Apostle Paul is clear that there is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Paul continues in that chapter to state that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ, including death—by any means (Romans 8:28-39).

The “Unpardonable Sin”

Some ask whether suicide might be the “unpardonable sin.” The only unpardonable sin is to willfully and permanently reject God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:36).

Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death atones for all the sins of his people—past, present, and future (Romans 3:25). Believers in Christ enjoy God’s enduring and complete forgiveness for all their sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

Read The Whole Article


God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment

I met Jim Hamilton, associate professor of biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon earlier this summer. Jim loves guacamole, his “sweet wife Jill,” and his Lord, though not in that order. Jim exudes Southern warmth and charm that make me envy his congregation at Kenwood Baptist Church, and he is a prolific theologian who has already published numerous articles and two books, God’s Indwelling Presence and God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment.

The latter is a biblical theology which recently made Al Mohler’s list of “Top ten books that every preacher should read in 2011.” John Piper said that when he received his copy in the mail, he sat down and immediately read the first 60 pages. So as you can see, Jim has already contributed much to the church, and we’re going to be hearing a lot more from him in the future. God’s Glory is a thoroughly researched, well-written, and compelling read. I admire how Jim kindly yet firmly interacts with those, such as I. Howard Marshall, who have offered some critique. God’s Glory is a model of evangelical scholarship, the kind of intelligent writing for the church that we desperately need.

Jim has graciously agreed to carve out a few minutes from his hectic schedule to answer a few questions about God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment.

read the entire post here at:


Plan for upcoming study & read this Fall 2011::: God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology

Deep Water

God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology
By James M. Hamilton, Jr.God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment



About God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment

In Exodus 34 Moses asks to see God’s glory, and God reveals himself as a God who is merciful and just. James Hamilton Jr. contends that from this passage comes a biblical theology that unites the meta-narrative of Scripture under one central theme: God’s glory in salvation through judgment.

Hamilton begins in the Old Testament by showing that Israel was saved through God’s judgment on the Egyptians and the Caananites. God was glorified through both his judgment and mercy, accorded in salvation to Israel. The New Testament unfolds the ultimate display of God’s glory in justice and mercy, as it was God’s righteous judgment shown on the cross that brought us salvation. God’s glory in salvation through judgment will be shown at the end of time, when Christ returns to judge his enemies and save all who have called on his name.

Hamilton moves through the Bible book by book, showing that there is one theological center to the whole Bible. The volume’s systematic method and scope make it a unique resource for pastors, professors, and students.


“I was riveted. Never do I sit down and read sixty pages of ANY book that I get in the mail. But I could not stop—could not stop reading and could not stop rejoicing over God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment. It is the kind of overview of redemptive history Edwards wanted to write. It’s what I hoped would be written.”
-John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis
“As readers of Scripture we long to know the message of the Bible as a whole. We do not want to miss the forest for the trees. Unfortunately, there are few books that help us to be faithful to the whole counsel of God. What a delight, then, to read Jim Hamilton’s book where the story line of the Scriptures is unfolded. Hamilton rightly sees that the glory of God is at the center of the scriptural record, demonstrating with careful attention to the biblical text the supremacy of God in both the Old Testament and the New. Scholars, students, and laypeople will all profit from reading this work, which instructs the mind, enlivens the heart, and summons us to obedience.”
-Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
More Endorsements