“Then I said to them, ‘If it seems right to you, give me my wages, but if not, keep them.’ So they weighed My wages, 30 pieces of silver. ‘Throw it to the potter,’ the Lord said to me – this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the Lord, to the potter. Then I cut in two my second staff, Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. The Lord said to me: ‘Take the equipment of a foolish shepherd. I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are going astray, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat of sheep and tear off their hooves.’” Zechariah 11:12-16
Reading today’s passage, one might believe they were reading one of the New Testament descriptions of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, for it is a perfect fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy:
“Then one of the twelve – the man called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?’ So they weighed out 30 pieces of silver for him. And from that time, he started looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.” Matthew 26:14
“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,’ He said. ‘What’s that to us?’ they said. ‘See to it yourself!’ So he threw the silver into the sanctuary and departed. Then he went and hanged himself. The chief priests took the silver and said, ‘It’s not lawful to put it into the temple treasury since it is blood money.’ So they conferred together and bought the potter’s field with it as a burial place for foreigners.” Matthew 27:3-7
So, the Good Shepherd has asked for His wages and broken His shepherd staffs, named “Favor” and “Union.” It reminds me of the violinist who not only retired from performing, but he smashed his violin, making a return to the concert stage nearly impossible. But, what of the new shepherd? Contrary to The Who song, for Israel, it was not a case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” It was more like, “meet the new boss; he is evil and selfish.” In other words: Meet the Anti-shepherd, “Antichrist.”
The scenes leading up to today’s chapter have contained some lovely pictures of God’s favor for the repentant Remnant of Israel. But the glory of Israel’s full return has been held at a distance from our present generation because of the rejection of the Shepherd upon whom the blessing depends, Jesus. So we are still left with the sorrowful account of the refusal of the Good Shepherd. (Isaiah 53). The spirit of Anti-shepherd, who seeks only his own glory and doesn’t care a bit for the ruin and scattering of the Lord’s “Flock” is rampant. The former passage predicting the events surrounding Jesus’ betrayal was fulfilled precisely as prophesied, so we can expect Anti-messiah to arrive on the scene exactly on time. Already, the signs of the end are appearing. Are you ready? Jesus is coming to redeem and shepherd His Flock. Have you joined His sheepfold?
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