MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD: But The Chief Priests Taking The Money Said: It Is Not Lawful To Put It Into The Treasury, Because It Is The Price Of Blood
GIOTTO di Bondone
No. 28 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 12. Judas' Betrayal
But the chief Priests taking the money said: It is not lawful to put it into the treasury, because it is the price of blood: and taking counsel they bought therewith a potters field, for the burial of strangers, and for that cause the field is called Halceldema, that is, the field of blood, even to this day. Then it was fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet Hieremy: And they took thirty pieces of sliver being the price of the appriced, whose they priced of the Sons of Israel, and they gave them into a potters field, as our Lord hath appointed me.
Consider first the goodness and gentleness of God, who would have his servants so far from all effusion of blood, that in the old law would not permit them to have the money wherewith the death of any man was procured.
Consider secondly the preposterous religion of these Priests, which feared not to defile their consciences with innocent blood, and yet were afraid to pollute their treasury with the price of blood. Thou art like unto them, so oft as thou mayest great account of small things, and hast small regard f grievous sins against God, straining a Gnat, and swallowing a Camel.
Consider thirdly the Jews converted not this money to their own use, but to the behalf of other men: That by this thou mayest learn, 1. That Christ was wholly given unto us, his very price also being bestowed upon us. 2. The liberality of covetous men, who give Alms, not of their own, but of other mens money.
Consider Fourthly that with this money a field was bought for the burial of standers: that thou mayest learn, first that not only our souls, but our bodies also received great benefits by the death of Christ: For whatsoever good is bestowed upon man, we ought to acknowledge all to proceed from the passion of Christ Secondly that through the death of Christ we have true & everlasting rest. Thirdly according to St. Ambrose and Saint Hierome, that this word (which in another place is called a field, which God the workman made of nothing) was bought with the price of the blood of Christ, not for the burial of all men, but only of strangers, which therein only they should rest with a quiet conscience, who making themselves strangers on earth. look still to the heavenly country. Therefore if thou intends to be partakers of this price, be a stranger, shut thine eyes to worldly things: desire no earthly goods, to be brief, die unto the world, that thou mayest rest sweetly in Christ.
Consider fifthly That this was confirmed unto us, either by the prophesy of Hieremy, in those books which came not to us, or of Zachary (as the common opinion is the name of Hieremy being put in, not by the Evangelist, but by some other writer) or of both, as Epiphanies affrimeth. Thou maist learn hereby that the price of Christ was not only prefigured in the price, for which Joseph before time had been should, but foretold also by the Prophets, with admiration, that for the price of thirty pieces of silver (whereof every one is valued at half a dollar) the Messias expected so many ages should be brought and sold. Doest not you sell Christ, and everlasting life for a baser price, when thou refuse and reject his grace for a little filthy lust, for money, or vain desire of honor? Return then unto thy self, consider the inestimable value of the blood of Christ, and suffer any thing rather then he shall be taken from thee.