Thirty Pieces of Silver

Megan Smillie // Scripture: A Mother's Lens


March 26  

Wednesday of Holy Week. Spy Wednesday, it is called. Judas Iscariot approaches the Pharisees and offers to hand over the Son of God for a mere thirty pieces of silver—the amount given in those times to a slave for a day of labor. A slap in the face to think that the life of God’s Son would be worth so little.  

And Judas, a name eternally tied to the ultimate traitorous act. To hand over someone dear to you, straight into the hands of their enemies. And then to sit at table with them, fully aware of what is to come. Dip your bread into the shared dish, be exposed and leave in haste, desperate for the deed to be completed, over with. Desperate to undo what you yourself have put in motion. Despair so deep that you cannot live with yourself. So, you simply decide not to live. 

The price of Judas ended up being a steep one. Those thirty coins cost him love, hope, and ultimately his life. He lost sight of the eternal for a split second, wagered wrong, and despaired. 

It is easy to look at Judas in disdain. To see his faults and think he got his due. To give up the Son of God! To deliver him into the hands of his enemies! What kind of a monstrous heart would commit that heinous act?

But then I reflect on my own “thirty pieces of silver.” The things of this world that distract me from the glories of the next. The small crosses that I lay by the wayside in order to take up the petty frivolities of this world. The times I have chosen my own worldly comforts and desires over the duties of my vocation, or over even the fragile hearts of my children. 

And then I am chastened. What an insult to the love of God, to the sacrifice of his only Son, to the promise of eternal joy. To give all of that up for the empty promises and fleeting pleasures of this earthly life. 

We learn from Judas. Not to despair, but to ask forgiveness, lean in to hope, and trust in God’s love. 

Spy Wednesday. Instead of pondering the errant ways of Judas, it becomes a time of self-reflection, a time of seeking out mercy and forgiveness. And always, a time of hope. 

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