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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 4, 2009

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2009
      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
      commanded me.'"
      Matthew 27:6-10

      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
      resurrection hope!

      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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