If an Ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of Silver and the Ox shall be stoned. – Exodus: 21:32
Was thirty shekels of silver worth the price of death? Was it worth the life of this precious Savior of the world? It seems such an insignificant amount, not just for the price of a Savior, but a plain, ordinary, everyday, human life as well. Considering how much we spend yearly on new toys and gadgets, only to be lucky to sell it for a third of that once the new gizmos come out, it seems a poor price for Judas to accept to give this precious life up. But history tells us that 30 shekels of silver is what was paid. When looked at in light of Scripture, there is a symmetry to it that makes perfect sense. We see that it cost that, and of course, so much more. We should be thankful that it did.
According to Exodus 21:32, a dead slave is worth thirty shekels of silver. A dead slave. A slave that can do nothing but rot in a grave, is shown to still has some worth. It’s worth in this case, is the same amount as a friend’s betrayal in the New Testament. To that I say, “Amen!” I say that because I was a dead slave. I was dead in the sins of this life that I walked before Christ’s rescue (Eph 2:1). I belonged to the ruler of this world, the devil, and followed him. If I did not follow him willingly, or knowingly, then I surely did it blindly with no regard for people or circumstances around me. I was destined for punishment and destruction before that transaction took place. Judas’ betrayal started the process that would eventually seal my purchase, and my victory. Just as that money changed hands to ensure the beginning of Jesus’ painful path toward the cross, so would I then change hands from the prince of evil to the prince of peace. In reality, Christ was betrayed for thirty shekels of silver. In regards to the reality of salvation, that was the cost paid for this dead slave’s life.
Just as important as the purchase price paid to Judas for Christ’s betrayal also representing payment for my life, is what happened to the instrument of my death as a result. In the Old Testament, the Ox that gored the slave was destined by law to be put to death. This weapon of death would never again be able to cause the death of anyone else. So it is with Christ. Jesus ensured in Judas’ betrayal, not just payment paid for this dead slave, but that the root cause of that dead slave’s condition would die as well. For all in whom’s faith is in Christ, the ox has been slain once and for all.
We will continue struggle and wrestle until the end for sure, but condemnation is no longer a fear for us. Christ has paid the cost, which started with 30 shekels of silver, and it ends at the nails in a bloody cross. His resurrection means that we never have to fear the “ox” of sin again. It has no power to fatally gore us. It has no power to kill us. Though it’s guaranteed to wound us at times, Christ is the salve for each and every one of those wounds, including the mortal ones. The ones that sometimes lead to the final transaction, bringing us once and for all into God’s presence.
All this for the low, low-cost of thirty tainted, blood soaked, murderous silver shekels.
A price that could never be enough for Christ’s life.
A bargain for own to be sure.