Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 4, 2009
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
The potter's field
"But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver,
said, 'It is not lawful to put them into the treasury,
since they are blood money.' After conferring together,
they used them to buy the potter's field as a place to
bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been
called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was
fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet
Jeremiah, 'And they took the thirty pieces of silver,
the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on
whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and
they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord
The same religious leaders who had Jesus condemned to
death on a blasphemy charge now had two new problems.
Both the corpse of Judas Iscariot and his betrayal
money raised questions. What were they to do with
the blood money returned to them by Judas Iscariot?
While he was alive, Judas had been a useful pawn in
betraying Jesus. Dead at his own hands, what were
they now to do with the body?
In the agony of remorse, Judas tragically hung himself.
According to religious laws, the money was tainted and
could not be used for the temple or synagogue. There
was no way it could be legally laundered for religious
spending. Not only was Judas' money difficult to use,
but he had to be buried according to the law. In their
religion, those who committed suicide were not allowed
to rest in peace among their honored dead. Judas could
not even be buried among his own people.
Although scripture does not tell us exactly where Judas
was buried, I have often wondered if his body was laid
to rest in the potter's field under the tree where he
hung himself. The authorities could then solve two
problems at once by buying the field where the
desperate Judas took his life with the tainted money
and still honor their burial practices. The field
could then be used as burial site for foreigners, for
it was against their religion to bury non-Jewish
corpses among Orthodox Jews, a custom still practiced
I also wonder if any family and friends came to his
grave to weep and mourn, or if any priest cared enough
to offer prayers and words of solace at his gravesite.
Was Judas shunned in death by the remaining disciples?
We will never know.
I am convinced of one thing. I am confident God had
mercy on his tortured soul. Judas' evil betrayal of
Jesus had unwittingly fulfilled divine prophecy.
Without the death of Christ, there could be no
God, through this final meditation on Judas Iscariot,
help me continue to learn from his life and death.
Open my eyes to corrupt religious and secular
practices that result in blood money in our
contemporary society. Help me whenever possible
to be an agent of change and reform. May I also
comfort those grieving over loved ones who have
committed suicide with compassion, not judgment.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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