The Price of Christ #2

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment” (John 12:3 KJV).

How much should Jesus Christ be worth in the eyes of Christians?

About six days before His crucifixion, Jesus is in Bethany, a town one or two miles (1.6 or 3.2 kilometers) southeast of Jerusalem. He has raised Lazarus from the dead just a short time earlier (John chapter 11), and they are holding a supper for Jesus there in Bethany (John 12:1-9). Lazarus’s sister Mary (cf. John 11:2) anoints Jesus’ feet as recorded in today’s Scripture.

Mary took a “pound” (roughly a pint or 0.5 liter) of the very intense aromatic essential oil “spikenard” and poured it onto Jesus’ feet. She then wiped His feet with her hair. (You can grasp Mary’s humility by remembering that sandaled feet that trod hot Middle Eastern sand were quite filthy, sweaty, and smelly. Can you imagine wiping your hair on those feet?)

Spikenard, whose plant derivative is still unknown, was just as the Bible says—“very costly.” In fact, when Judas—the thieving treasurer of the apostles—saw what Mary did, he bemoaned, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:5). Verse 6 says, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” Judas just wanted the spikenard sold so he could pocket the money!

The word “pence” in our King James Bible means the Roman coins called denarii. A denarius was equal to one day’s wages, so 300 pence was roughly ten month’s wages (the denarius was originally worth the price of ten donkeys, so 300 pence was 3,000 donkeys!). Mary recognized the great value of the Lord Jesus Christ: He was worth far more than the mere 30 pieces of silver (three or four months’ wages) Judas later received for betraying Him. May we Christians value the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, as much as Mary did!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the ‘falling away’ of 2 Thessalonians 2:3?

The Price of Christ #1

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

“And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver” (Matthew 26:15 KJV).

How much is Jesus Christ worth in the eyes of lost man?

Let us read today’s Scripture within its context: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him” (Matthew 26:14-16).

“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me” (Matthew 27:3-10).

The 30 pieces of silver was enough to buy a field; it was an enormous sum of money. The King James Bible does not specify what types of coins the priests paid Judas, but the “30 pieces of silver” is estimated to be the equivalent of three or four months’ wages. According to the Mosaic Law, the price of a slave was “thirty shekels of silver” (Exodus 21:32). In the eyes of lost mankind, the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, was worth nothing more than a slave!

Our archived Bible Q&A: “Are Christians obligated to observe Passover?

Satan and Dispensationalism #22

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” (Colossians 1:25,26 KJV).

Dispensational Bible Study enables us to see and appreciate the final revelation from God. Satan is thus utterly embarrassed!

By nature, Satan is a genius. From his creation, he has operated on a mental level far, far, far beyond every other creature of God. Lucifer was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). As creation’s song-leader, Satan was to devise ways to glorify his Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. Lucifer became prideful (verses 15-18): his wisdom and beauty made him fall in love with himself. Lucifer concluded that he belonged on God’s throne, that he was wiser, more fit to govern creation. Thus, began the spiritual battle that is waged even today.

Beginning in Genesis chapter 3, Satan involved mankind in usurping God’s authority. Genesis chapters 4-6 were intensifications of that battle. Unbelieving Cain killed his believing brother Abel—the first murder. Man’s wickedness was so great that God finally destroyed that ancient world with a global flood. Next, the disastrous one-world government and one-world religion at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11). Satan thought he would somehow always outsmart God.

When God created His special nation Israel (Genesis chapter 12), Satan began to focus on corrupting Israel. The rest of the Old Testament documents Satan corrupting Israel. During Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, that spiritual battle reached its highest level of intensity. The bloodlust was so great in Satan that the greatest murder would occur now.

Satan could have sent an evil spirit to work in killing Jesus Christ. But, he did not. The Bible says Satan himself entered Judas (Luke 22:3). Satan was certain the job would be done right, once for all. Israel’s King would die! With Him dead, Israel’s kingdom would never come to pass. Israel was already dead in sin and Satan’s grip. The lost Gentiles could not be saved through Israel, for Israel could not rise to kingdom glory. With God’s Son dead, Satan had won. Or, had he?

That Thus It Must Be

Thursday, October 23, 2014

“But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matthew 26:54 KJV).

To go to Calvary’s tree, to suffer and die for you and me, it had to be, for Christ had to die for you and me!

People die for their religion all the time, but the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was extraordinary. It was determined long, long, long ago, before there ever was a creation. The triune Godhead gathered, unanimously decreeing that God the Son would die for man’s sins. He would do it to the glory of His Father, and the Holy Ghost would see to it that it would be accomplished to the very last jot and tittle. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23).

As Judas led the crowd of religious leaders, elders, and Roman soldiers to where Jesus and His disciples were, the Lord Jesus Christ grew ever so peaceful. What had begun as a very stressful time of intense prayer, speaking to His Heavenly Father that His will be done, and not His own, was now completed with total faith in His Heavenly Father’s will. Though Peter drew his sword at the advancing crowds, ready to slash anyone who approached Jesus, our Lord did not put up a fight. He went so far as to rebuke Peter, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52,53).

By faith, having taken His stand on His Father’s words to Him (the hundreds upon hundreds of Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament scrolls), Jesus Christ preferred not to call down tens of thousands of angels for military assistance. He had to fulfill the Scriptures; there was simply no way around it. He knew it had to be, that He would go to Calvary’s tree, to die for you and me!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Where in the Bible did God give Satan domain over the Earth?

The Price of Christ #2

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment” (John 12:3 KJV).

How much should Jesus Christ be worth in the eyes of Christians?

About six days before His crucifixion, Jesus is in Bethany, a town one or two miles (1.6 or 3.2 kilometers) southeast of Jerusalem. He has raised Lazarus from the dead just a short time earlier (John chapter 11), and they are holding a supper for Jesus there in Bethany (John 12:1-9). Lazarus’s sister Mary (cf. John 11:2) anoints Jesus’ feet as recorded in today’s Scripture.

Mary took a “pound” (roughly a pint or 0.5 liter) of the very intense aromatic essential oil “spikenard” and poured it onto Jesus’ feet. She then wiped His feet with her hair. (You can grasp Mary’s humility by remembering that sandaled feet that trod hot Middle Eastern sand were quite filthy, sweaty, and smelly. Can you imagine wiping your hair on those feet?)

Spikenard, whose plant derivative is still unknown, was just as the Bible says—“very costly.” In fact, when Judas—the thieving treasurer of the apostles—saw what Mary did, he bemoaned, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:5). Verse 6 says, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” Judas just wanted the spikenard sold so he could pocket the money!

The word “pence” in our King James Bible means the Roman coins called denarii. A denarius was equal to one day’s wages, so 300 pence was roughly ten month’s wages (the denarius was originally worth the price of ten donkeys, so 300 pence was 3,000 donkeys!). Mary recognized the great value of the Lord Jesus Christ: He was worth far more than the mere 30 pieces of silver (three or four months’ wages) Judas later received for betraying Him. May we Christians value the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, as much as Mary did!

The Price of Christ #1

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

“And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver” (Matthew 26:15 KJV).

How much is Jesus Christ worth in the eyes of lost man?

Let us read today’s Scripture within its context: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him” (Matthew 26:14-16).

“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me” (Matthew 27:3-10).

The 30 pieces of silver was enough to buy a field; it was an enormous sum of money. The King James Bible does not specify what types of coins the priests paid Judas, but the “30 pieces of silver” is estimated to be the equivalent of three or four months’ wages. According to the Mosaic Law, the price of a slave was “thirty shekels of silver” (Exodus 21:32). In the eyes of lost mankind, the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, was worth nothing more than a slave!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are Christians obligated to observe Passover?”