Matt 27:8 The Field of Blood 11/30/2008 ßà
#1. 30 Pieces of Silver (Matt 27:7,9, Luke 1:17, Acts 7:16)
#2. The Potter’s Field (Zech 11:14,13, Matt 27:7,10, Eph 2:11-13)
#3. Unto This Day (Rom 9:21-24, Gal 3:13-14)
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 27:1 (2X). We have come to that part of the Gospel of Matthew where Judas Iscariot commits suicide. And even though this may be a dreadful event in our sight, we should keep in mind that we should not have our focus on Judas Iscariot, but on the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Gospel was written to glorify Christ, not Judas. We will read here about “the field of blood”. Therefore this sermon is titled, “The Field of Blood” (2X). This sermon is more intense than other sermons, and you would be wise to take notes. Let us now read about:
Mt 27:1-10, When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 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.
This describes the historical setting of what we are discussing today. However, there are some key statements in this passage that we need to pay attention to, for when God chose to put in the Bible, “Unto this day” we know that God does not waste any words. Please turn in your Bible to the Acts of the Apostles Acts 1:15 (2X). When we read in Matt 27:8, “Unto this day”. God gave us here a very searching question. Why is that field called: “The field of blood”, unto this day? We cannot go to Jerusalem and point to that field, and say, “This is the field of blood,” for Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, and unrecognizably plowed under in AD 134. And thus we sense that “The field of blood” must have some spiritual meaning that God asks us to search out. Let us first finish the historical setting. We read in Acts
Ac 1:15- And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
The KJ translators called it Aceldama, but the Greek text reads, Akeldama. It means, The field of blood.
It was a field that was purchased with blood. Whose blood? And who paid for it? In Matt 27:7 the chief priests paid for it with the money that Judas threw down; in Acts 1:18 we read that Judas bought that field. Please turn again to Matt 27:7 (2X) and let us follow the money trail of 30 pieces of silver.
#1. 30 Pieces of Silver (Matt 27:7,9, Luke 1:17, Acts 7:16)
Judas sold his Master for 30 pieces of silver, which was the price of a slave, not knowing that Jesus was indeed a slave, for He is called the Suffering Servant of Jehovah, and for a brief period in time He became our slave, our servant, to do the work of suffering for all the elect, in our place. When Judas received the money it was cursed money. Judas did not own Jesus. Where did this money come from? It came out of the temple treasury, which was God’s money in the first place. But, when Judas threw the money down in the temple it became God’s money again. And so, it was not the priests, it was not Judas, but it was God who bought the field of blood. And notice what we read in Matt 27:7, “And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in (2X).” Why would God say this? But it gets even more peculiar when we read in Matt 27:9, “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;” God says here that it is a fulfillment of a prophecy spoken by Jeremiah the prophet. But when we search through the Prophecy of Jeremiah, we search in vain. This Prophecy is not in Jeremiah, but it is in the Prophecy of Zechariah. Did God make a mistake? Absolutely not! God made a deliberate switch, so that we must look at both the Prophecy of Zechariah and that of Jeremiah. God chose to write this passage in such a way to tell us that Zechariah preached in the spirit and power of Jeremiah, so that we would have to search out this matter. God does that more often. For example, God says in Luke 1:17, “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” In other words, John the Baptist preached in the spirit and power of Elijah. And thus, to understand this better we need to study both the passages concerning John the Baptist and in Mal 4 where John is spoken of as coming like Elijah. Another example is found in Acts 7:16, where we read “And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.” In other words, the bones of Jacob were buried “in Shechem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem.” Actually it was Jacob who bought that parcel of land from the sons of Hamor. God is thereby indicating that Jacob acted in the spirit and power of Abraham. And thus, we need to study both passages where Abraham bought a parcel of land and where Jacob bought a parcel of land. But now, in response to Matt 27:9, we are directed to the Prophecy of Zechariah. Please turn to the Prophecy of Zechariah, Zech 11:7 (2X). You find Zechariah just before Malachi and Matthew.
· I will feed the flock of slaughter (Zech 11:7-9, Ezek 18:4,20, Eph 2:3, Matt 5:3, Gen 3:15, Isa 4:1)
Put a sticker in Matt 27. The Prophecy of Zechariah was written after the children of Israel had returned
from their captivity in Babylon. It is a prophecy that is filled with parables and allegories. Chapters 9-11 contain references to Christ’s first coming, and chapters 12-14 contain references to Christ’s second coming. For this reason we can find 31 references relating Zechariah to Revelation. But since Zechariah is quoted in Matt 27:9, we know that it must refer to the time of the cross. We read in Zech 11:7,
Zec 11:7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty (or Grace), and the other I called Bands (Binding); and I fed the flock.
Who is speaking here? We can see from verse 6 that God is speaking. Christ is the Shepherd of His flock. Christ is in view in verse 7, and He says to the poor of the flock: "I will feed the flock of slaughter". That does not sound good. Why are the poor called the flock of slaughter? It is because God's Law states: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (from Ezek 18:4,20), and after Adam's sin every single human being coming into the world is a sinner. How can an immortal soul die? Well, the death that God has in view is not physical death, but it is the second death. Physical death is only a shadow of the much more horrible second death, which is a suffering for an eternity in Hell. That is why God calls the whole human race, "The flock of slaughter". WE ALL are born as sinners, in rebellion against God, hating God, and deserving Hell, and are "by nature the children of wrath" (Eph 2:3) according to the righteous Law of God. God's righteousness cannot be broken. But God has mercy on some. That is why we read: "I will feed the flock of slaughter". Christ will feed the Gospel to those on whom He has mercy. They are "the poor of the flock", not the physically poor, but the spiritually poor. Remember that Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, in Matt 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". Therefore, in verse 7 Christ is addressing the poor in spirit. Paraphrased this is how Christ is feeding His sheep: He took two rods; one of them he called Beauty or Grace (this Hebrew word is a noun) and the other rod He called Binding (this Hebrew word is a verb, so the translation “Bands” does not fit the original Heb text). The first rod, Beauty or Grace, represents Christ who is the very essence of the Beauty and Grace of God. The second rod, Binding, represents the Law, which leads people to bondage, for transgression of the Law is sin. People are bound to the Law. Now read Zech 11:8,
Zec 11:8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me. (These were three false shepherds who were cut off in a short period of time.)
Who were the three false shepherds at the time of Christ going to the cross? Here they are: The high priest Caiaphas, king Herod, and Pontius Pilate; respectively the religious shepherd of the Jews, the secular shepherd of the Jews, and the shepherd of the Roman part of the population. These were the three human authorities who decided that Jesus must be crucified. Now Christ is addressing those who are being led by these three false shepherds. And this includes practically all the world, for all the world of those days consisted of Jews and Gentiles. We read in Zech 11:9,
Zech 11:9 Then said I, I will not feed you: those that dieth, let it die; and those that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one (each woman) the flesh of another (her neighbor).
Literally the Hebrew text says: "Let the rest eat each woman the flesh of her neighbor". What does this mean? If we need a spiritual meaning for women in the Bible, they always represent a religious entity. For example, when God addresses “the woman” in Gen 3:15, God in fact addresses the church who will, together with Christ, be engaged in battle against the Devil. In Zech 11:9 Christ hated those who are following their false shepherds. This was the situation shortly before Christ went to the cross.
· Then Beauty was broken (Zech 11:10-13, 13:7)
Zec 11:10-11 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.
Christ was broken for His people, and Grace was broken for Christ. He had to earn His way back to heaven every inch of the way. There was no grace for Christ. He the Judge had taken upon Himself the payment that we would have to make, and He had to pay the full price according to the righteousness of God, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. That also meant that Christ had to go to the cross alone. That is why God says in Zech 13:7, "Smite the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered". In that day Christ had to separate Himself from His people; He had to abandon all His people and be reckoned with the transgressors. Then the poor of the flock, the believers that waited on Christ, knew that this was the will of God. Now we come to the passage that was quoted in Matt 27:9-10. Look now at Zech 11:12,
Zec 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good (Lit: If it is good in your eyes), give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
Who is speaking to whom? We know from the N.T. that the pronoun "them" does not refer to the Apostles, or the poor of the flock, but it refers to those who were the enemies of Christ. But God is still speaking, and God says, "I said to them". God is indicating thereby that He is still in charge. Now V.13,
Zec 11:13 And the LORD said unto Me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
Judas Iscariot acted totally in accordance to the Prophecy of Zechariah, because it was God who prompted him to cast this money down on the floor of the temple. Therefore Christ could say: "And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD". This is how the Potter's field was purchased with blood. It was the blood of Christ that purchased this field, called Akeldama, because the money did not belong to Judas, but it belonged to God. When Christ was broken for the elect of God, also the Law was broken for the elect of God. Do I mean just the Ceremonial Law? No! The whole Law was broken, but only for the saints. It is an important principle. We need to understand this very well, for the danger exists that we will swing to the other extreme and become antinomians.
· No More Law (Rom 4:8,15, 5:13, 6:7,18,22, 7:4,6, 8:1)
Put a sticker here in Zechariah, for we will return there, and please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:8 (2X). First of all we need to understand that Christ paid for all our sins, past present and future sins, not one excepted. If we have become saved, and we have turned from sinners into saints, then God Himself is making His abode within us, and not one sin shall be added to our account, for God will not allow His home to be defiled. Therefore God says in Rom 4:8 (2X),
Ro 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Every saint is in this manner blessed, for after God the Holy Spirit has regenerated our soul, and has cleansed it from all sin, the Lord will not impute any more sin to our soul, for Christ has already paid for it. Sin is a transgression of the Law, and thus where no more sin is imputed there is no law that can condemn us. Therefore, when we turn to verse 15, Rom 4:15 (2X), we read there,
Ro 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
Why would God write these words? “Where no law is?” Was there at any time in the past a period when there was no law? Not really. When God created Adam, immediately God imposed a law. His law was, “Thou shalt not eat from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for in the day that thou eatest thereof dying thou shalt die.” And throughout the OT dispensation there always was a law of God that defined sin, for sin is a transgression of the law. But when Christ died on the cross for the sins of those whom God intended to save, He suffered and died for specific sins of specific people, who will receive this specific payment for all their sins at the moment that God the Holy Spirit makes them born from above, and God declares that they are no longer sinners, but saints. And from this moment on none of the sins they commit shall be imputed to their soul. It is as if they have died to the law, and have been resurrected with Christ to a new life where no law can touch them any more. For the saints the law has been satisfied in full by Christ on the cross, but for the rest of the world the law still exists. And thus our separation from the law has occurred, not because the law died, but because we have died to the law. Let us take a brief look at the abundance of references to that effect. Drop down to Rom 5:13 (2X),
Ro 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Until the law given through Moses, sin was already in the world, from Adam to Moses. And from Moses until the cross the law was greatly increased by the Ceremonial law, which God required that it should be kept. But then came the cross. And from then on, “sin is not imputed when there is no law”. But only the saints have died to the law. The rest of the world still stands guilty for transgressing the law. Therefore, when we drop down to Rom 6:7 (2X), we read there,
Ro 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
In other words, “He that is dead with Christ, and is risen with Christ, has been justified from sin”, for Christ has justified us from all our sins, even our future sins. Remember that when Christ died all our sins were still future sins. Thus, when we were freed from sin, we became servants of Christ. Rom 6:18,
Ro 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
In our old life we were servants of sin and servants of Satan. In our new life we are servants of righteousness and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we read in Rom 6:22 (2X), “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Is that not glorious? With body and soul we are no longer in the clutches of Satan, but we now belong to Christ, because we have died with Christ and we have risen with Christ. Rom 7:4 (2X) “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Many times in the Bible God emphasizes that we have become dead to the law. The law no more exists in the life of the saints. The reason is that God wants us to be unspotted temples of God. Rom 7:6 (2X),
Ro 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
It means that we were dead when we were under the law, for the law was our accuser before God. But now that we have become saints in the eyes of God no law can any more accuse us. Rom 8:1 (2X),
Ro 8:1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
We needed this interlude about “No more law in the life of the saints” to clarify what we are going to read in Zech 11:14. Please turn again to the Prophecy of Zechariah, Zech 11:14 (2X).
#2. The Potter’s Field (Zech 11:14,13, Matt 27:7,10, Eph 2:11-13)
Now let us continue with the Atonement of the Lord Jesus on the cross. We read in Zech 11:14 (2X),
11:14 Then I cut asunder mine other
even) Bands (Binding), that I might break the brotherhood
between Judah and Israel. (This is
the final stage at the cross.)
At the time Zechariah wrote this Prophecy, the break between the nations of Judah and Israel was more than 400 years old. The nation of Israel was no longer in existence for 200 years. The Jews returning from Babylon were called Jews because they were from Judah. What then is God saying in verse 14? Which Israel is in view here? Christ is called Israel. Christ came out of the tribe of Judah. In that sense they were His brethren. God is saying in verse 14 that at the time of the cross Christ divorced Himself from the nation of Judah. Christ had already divorced Himself from the Northern kingdom of Israel 200 years earlier, when He removed them into Assyria. In the O.T. God was married to the nation of Israel, the nation consisting of all the descendants of Jacob. But at the time that Christ died God had divorced that nation, and now the nation of the Jews is no longer God's favorite nation. All nations stand now on the same level at the cross. That is why God says: "Then I cut asunder mine other staff, Binding", which means that God broke the Law for us. That which was binding was broken. The Jews are no longer distinguished by their keeping of the Ceremonial Law, because the Ceremonial Law is empty. It has all been fulfilled in Christ. Moreover, the Moral Law no longer threatens those people whose sins have been paid by Christ at the cross, because all their sins have been paid. Therefore the Law is no longer our enemy. The Law has become our friend, because through this Law we have come to know our sinfulness, and we have come to know Christ. Let us remember what we have read in Zech 11:13 (2X), “And the LORD said unto Me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” Who is speaking here? “Jehovah said unto Christ, Cast it unto the Potter.” And so, it was not Judas, and it was not the priests, but it was Christ who purchased this Field of Blood with the 30 pieces of silver which were symbolic of the value that the nation of Israel valued the Lord Jesus Christ. Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 27:7 (2X). They did not value Christ very highly; only 30 pieces of silver. Mt
Mt 27:7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
And now drop down to verse 10. We read in Matt 27:10,
Mt 27:10 And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed Me.
Both Zech 11:13 and Matt 27:10 state that it was Christ who bought this Field of Blood. But there are two things that we need to resolve in these words: Why is this field also called “the Potter’s Field”, and why is it a field “to bury strangers in”? Who are these strangers? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:11 (2X). The Bible teaches that before the moment of our salvation we were at home in this world, and we were strangers to the kingdom of God. But after we became saved we are at home in the kingdom of God, and we are strangers to this world. But all those who remain unsaved remain as strangers to the kingdom of God. We read in Eph 2:11-13,
Eph 2:11 ¶ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Who are the “strangers of the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world?” Those who remain unsaved are the strangers that are buried in the Field of Blood. Judas is buried there and all the unsaved are buried there. We can have confirmation of this when we try to answer the question why God directed us to both Zechariah and Jeremiah. Please turn to the Prophecy of Jeremiah Jer 18:1 (2X). God directs us to the house of the Potter. Who is represented by the Potter? Why did God in Matt 27:8 direct the priests and the elders of the people to buy the Potter’s field? Certainly it was God who directed them, for it was Christ who bought that Field of Blood. God is the Potter, and we are the clay in the hands of the Potter. Let us read about this here in Jer 18:1-6,
· The house of the Potter (Jer 18:1-6, 19:1-3,10-12)
Jer 18:1-6 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the
LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
This passage clearly declares to us the sovereignty of God. The sovereign Lord rules in the hearts of
men; not only in the hearts of those He intends to save, but also in the hearts of those He never plans to save. Clearly, God is the Potter, and we are the clay. Now please drop down to Jer 19:1-3 (2X).
Jer 19:1-3 Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests; And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
It is significant that God instructed Jeremiah to take the elders of the people to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom. This was the place that in the NT is called “Gehenna”, which was a symbol for Hell. There Jeremiah broke the Potter’s vessel and cast it into Gehenna. We read in Jer 19:10-12 (2X),
Jer 19:10-12 Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee, And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:
Tophet is another name for Gehenna, the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is the field where the broken vessels of the Potter are cast in. And so we can see that the Field of Blood, and Akeldama, and the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and Gehenna, and Tophet, are all synonyms for Hell. There is where Judas will be buried and there is where all the unsaved will be buried forever. Please turn to the Prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 2:7 (2X). The vessel that Jeremiah had in his hand represented the nation of Judah and Jerusalem. They were rejected, because of their apostacy. They no longer worshipped the God of the Bible. Let us keep this in mind, for if we become unfaithful, if we depart from the true Gospel of the Bible, then we too shall be discarded into the field that is called Akeldama.
· The Field of the Potter (Psalm 2:7-9, Matt 27:7-10)
What is a Potter's Field for? God explains Psalm 2:7-9 that the Potter's field is the field where the rejected vessels are discarded. God says in Psalm 2:7-9,
2:7-9 I will declare the decree: the
LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give (
the heathen ( for) thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of
the earth ( for) thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in
pieces like a potter's vessel.
We read here in verse 8, Jehovah says to Christ, “Ask of Me and I shall give Thee the heathen for thine inheritance.” In other words, a remnant of the heathen shall be kept as Thine inheritance, and the remainder of the heathen shalt Thou break like Potter’s vessels are broken. That is what a Potter's field is for. It is the burial place for rejected vessels. And on the Last Day God shall execute judgment on all those vessels that are in the Potter's field, and they will all be sent to Hell. Please turn again to Matt 27:7 and now we can understand what went on in the Potter's field. Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a tree that stood in the Potter's field. The rope broke, perhaps immediately, or perhaps sometime later, and Judas’ body was shredded by the sharp broken pieces of vessels that were in that field. The priests bought that field and buried Judas there. We read in Matt 27:7-10,
Mt 27:7- 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 Jerem 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.
These last words, “As the Lord appointed Me” are the words of Christ, who has been appointed to be the Judge on the last day. But why was this field called “The Field of Blood, unto this day?”
#3. Unto This Day (Rom 9:21-24, Gal 3:13-14)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:21 (2X). The story of the Potter and the clay has been repeated in Rom 9 where God now applies the object lesson to individual people. Again the sovereignty of God is clearly demonstrated here in Rom 9, and yet so many churches avoid this chapter like the plague because their eyes are blinded by the god of this world. God says in Rom 9:
Ro 9:21-24 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump (= Adam) to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Paraphrased, God says here that when God raised us up from the dunghill and sets us among princes, He does so entirely by His grace. He makes us vessels unto honor, not because of anything that we have done, not by us believing and appropriating Christ, as so many churches teach, but entirely by His unmerited favor; and He buried the vessels of wrath in the field where Judas is buried, unto this day. And because He chose us from before the foundation of the world He purchased us through the work that Christ has done on the cross. What did Christ have to do to purchase us? He had to break the staff that is called Beauty, representing Himself, and then He had to break the staff that is called Binding, representing the law. God speaks about this in Gal 3. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 3:13 (2X). There we read that we are purchased by Christ because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. He rescued us from our bondage to the law. We read in Gal
Ga 3:13-14 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
And so, the blessing of God’s covenant with Abraham has come on the remnant of the Gentiles, for Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. The law requires perfect obedience, and this is what no human being can do. And what is “the promise of the Spirit through faith?” It is the promise that He will one day raise up our body from the grave, and give us the NH&NE where only righteousness dwells. Let me now summarize what we have learned from this sordid story of the suicide of Judas Iscariot, the man from Kerioth. We have concluded that there are two places of burial.
· Two Places of Burial (Matt 27:8, Acts 1:18-19, Rom 6:4-7, Luke 10:20, Eph 1:4, Rev 13:8)
The purchase of the Field of Blood was made by God Himself when He purchased the Potter's Field. This was not Judas' money; Jesus was not the property of Judas; this money belonged to God. Christ paid the full price for that Potter's Field, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, which in the eyes of the Jews was worth only 30 pieces of silver. And thus for 30 pieces of silver this field was bought for a burial place. Judas the son of perdition was buried there, according to Acts 1:18-19, and all those who died unsaved are buried there with him. The Potter's Field is now used to bury strangers in. Which strangers? They are "Strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world". The purpose of this land purchase was to demonstrate to US that God remains in full control and that God is faithful in fulfilling His promises in Scripture, al the way to Hell, and all the way to the NH&NE.
One burial place is Akeldama, the Field of Blood, or the Potter's Field, where Judas, the son of perdition, has been buried and where all those who are strangers to the God of the Bible will be buried. From there they will be resurrected on the Last Day and stand for Judgment, and every last one will be cast into Hell. By the grace of God there is another burial place. It is the cave of Joseph of Arimathaea, where Jesus body was gently laid down, and where we were buried with Christ. You see, before the foundation of the world the Father chose a Bride for His Son from a people that deserved to go to Hell. And God said: "I am the Potter you are the clay. Can I not make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor? Then know and understand that entirely by My grace I have placed you in Christ, so that when Christ was crucified, you were crucified with Him, when Christ died, you died with Him, when Christ was buried in the cave of Joseph of Arimathaea, you were buried with Him, and when Christ rose from that cave, you rose with Him. And all that did take place even though you did not exist yet, and your soul was not created yet. Do you understand this?” Now we know that all this is pointing to “Limited Atonement”, or “Particular Atonement”. Our souls were not preexistent, but our names were preexistent. According to Luke 10:20, and Eph 1:4, and Rev 13:8, our names were written in the mind of God from before the foundation of the world. This little we know. But do we fully understand this complex allegory about Judas and The Field of Blood? And all we can say is: "Lord, we do not understand, but we believe what You have written is true and trustworthy. And we thank You out of the bottom of our heart that You have done that for us, and that You caused us to believe it."
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.