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)


Redeemed Music Culture Spotlight: Beautiful Eulogy, The String That Ties Us

‘We cut’ our own strings

“Lets suppose that a kite could come to life and develop its own personality. On one hand, it would feel the exhilaration that comes from the surges of wind that direct it through the sky. On the other hand, it would almost immediately take notice of something annoying. The tugging of the string at its center, a feeling of constraint, resistance, and soon the kite begins to think to itself ‘If only I could detach, then I could really fly.’ To the kite it seems the string is limiting its full experience of freedom. But as any boy or girl who has flown a kite knows, were that string to suddenly snap, the kite wouldn’t soar free for very long. It would dart to and fro for a minute, maybe two, but very soon thereafter it would end on the ground in a pile of broken sticks and torn paper never ever to fly again.

Rather, you see, it is the taught line between the kite and the one holding it that enables the kite to fly, that allows all the principles of aerodynamics to come into play so that the kite might achieve its full purpose. Christian love performs the very same function as a kite string. You take away the stabilizing force of Christian love and every towering gift, every supernatural power, every sacrificial act, every musical performance, you name it friends, it will all-ALL end up on the ash heap of eternal insignificance, without love.”

– Art Azurdia

Check Out The Beautiful EulogyAlbum

Thy mercy, my God – John Stocker, 1776

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

doxology and duty

Today we hear much discussion around the topic of theology.  Whether it’s in our churches, Christian circles, or somewhere else, many different scholarly words, phrases, and categories often accompany theology.  We talk about systematic theology, biblical theology, historical theology, and so on, and so forth…  This is all very well and good, because theology is needed and theology is necessary.  However, all of the jargon without answering questions of “why” and “how” will always leave Christians wanting real, relevant answers.  They’ll be left with…well… just words, nothing more, no conviction, except perhaps a conviction that the church’s intellectual answers are completely irrelevant to the “real” world. So, why do theology?  What does it matter?  Let me point to two main reasons.  First, we must theologize because theology leads to doxology, and second, because theology leads to duty. 

Doxology and duty…

Theology breeds and leads to both.

Theology leads to doxology.  In other words, when we do theology right, it should result in our praise and worship of God (Rom. 11:36-12:1, 1 Cor. 10:31).  This is important because God not only deserves worship, but He also rightfully demands worship (Ex. 20:1-6, Is. 48:11).  Both revelation and redemption should cause us to joyfully worship God without shame.   After all, God alone is worthy of worship, not us (Deut. 6:4-5, Rev. 22:8-9).

However, theology should never come with just doxology, but also duty, for if theology does not also lead to duty, then theology as a whole has yet to be accomplished.  You will end up doing nothing more than intellectual gymnastics or something of the sort.  The point is, theology and the truth of God’s word is never meant to be left running laps in your head.  This truth must make its way to the heart.  Theology is practical, theology is functional, theology is purposeful, and theology is useful.  Theology matters.  When we do theology in a biblical and God glorifying way, it will make a difference in how we live every day of our lives.  When there is a wedge driven between theology and life, it is no longer theology, but instead a mental workout with no real benefit.


Before we look at the question of “how” this happens, I want to address a possible confusion.  When I speak of theology, I am referring to theology that is biblically accurate, God glorifying, built upon the understanding that the Bible is the authoritative word of God, and therefore our only foundation for doing theology.  I bring this up because in a very real sense, we are all theologians even if we don’t know it.  The question then becomes whether you are a good or bad theologian.  Even an atheist is doing theology in one sense; they just stop after their answer of the existence of God.  With that said, I will be speaking of theology that brings glory to our Creator and has the authoritative Bible as its foundation.

Finally, how?  How does this transition from head to heart happen?  A very lengthy answer could be given, and lengthy answers have been given.  I’m in the midst of reading a 640-page book by John Frame on how exactly this happens. However, I will try and keep my answer concise for now so this first post doesn’t put you to sleep.

To cut to the chase, the answer is thoroughly Trinitarian and completely saturated with the gospel.  Or maybe more simply put, the answer is the gospel, which is Trinitarian.  God speaks to us through his Word (2 Tim. 3:16), the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word so we properly understand (1 Cor. 2:14), and finally the Word is centered on Jesus Christ and his atoning work on the cross (Luke 24:13-35).  Therefore, the duty that will be made evident because of theology must be understood in terms of the Triune God we serve.  God has purchased for himself a people at the cost of his perfect Son’s blood.  Not only has He called out a people for himself, but He has also has spoken to those people and indwells them by the Holy Spirit.  And when God speaks, it demands a response.  To quote John Frame, “The speech of an absolute authority creates absolute obligation.”  The word of God knows no neutrality when it confronts us.  We cannot claim to have no response because that is in fact is a response… a response of disobedience.  And what is the proper response?  Doxology and Duty, theology breeds both.

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“Watchfulness and Prayer” – Anne Steele

Based on Matt 26:41

Alas, what hourly dangers rise! What snares beset my way!
To heaven O let me lift my eyes, And hourly watch and pray.

How oft my mournful thoughts complain, and melt in flowing tears!
My weak resistance, ah, how vain! How strong my foes and fears!

O gracious God, in whom I live, My feeble efforts aid,
Help me to watch, and pray, and strive, Though trembling and afraid.

Increase my faith, increase my hope, When foes and fears prevail;
And bear my fainting spirit up, Or soon my strength will fail.

Whene’re temptations fright my heart, Or lure my feet aside,
My God, thy powerful aid impart, My guardian and my guide.

O keep me in thy heavenly way, And bid the tempter flee;
And let me never, never stray from happiness and thee.

“Watchfulness and Prayer” – A. Steele, a hymn