“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.” (Acts 1:19)
Never was a tract of land more fittingly named than Aceldama, an Aramaic word meaning “field of blood,” for it had been purchased with blood money, “the price of blood” (Matthew 27:6). The purchaser had been Judas (through the “executors” of his estate, as it were, following his suicide), but the blood he sold, to acquire the price of the field, he had deemed “innocent blood.”
The miserable thirty shekels of silver which consummated this transaction was the price of a slave in ancient Israel (Exodus 21:32), but this slave was none other than God incarnate, so the thirty pieces of silver—the price set by the religious leaders of Israel—was the price for the sale of God.
The prophet Zechariah, more than 500 years before, had acted out a prophecy of these strange events: “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver . . . a goodly price that I was prised at of them” (Zechariah 11:12-13). Next, according to both prophecy and fulfillment, this blood money was cast down in the temple and then used to buy the potter’s field (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:5, 7-8).
These and many other such details in these accounts constitute a remarkable type and fulfillment of prophecy, and thus a testimony of both divine inspiration and divine foreordination. But, more than that, it is a striking picture of the price of our salvation, for the “field of blood” typifies that great field is the world (Matthew 13:38) and Christ is the man who, searching for “treasure hid in a field . . . sold all that he had, and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44). All that He had—the very blood of His life—was willingly shed that we, dead in sins and hidden in the world, might be “purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).