Dry gulched

This post contains another phrase from the Wild West, being dry gulched. To be dry gulched is to be ambushed with the intent of killing or severely mauling. The bad guys lay in wait in a dry gulch, to catch the good guys unawares, with the intent to do bodily harm.

In the Western U.S., a dry gulch is the dry bed of a stream in which water flows only occasionally, thereby making it a good spot to hide in.

Did you also know that Jesus was dry gulched? Let me give you the back story.

In Hebrew culture, thirty pieces of silver was not a lot of money. In fact, it was the exact price paid to the master of a slave if and when his slave was gored by an ox. (Ex. 21:32) The slave’s death was compensated by the thirty pieces of silver. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and was taken to Egypt for thirty pieces of silver. (Gen. 37:28) Another reference is found with thirty pieces of silver, was when Zechariah was paid after his work as a shepherd. He went to those he worked for and asked them to pay him what they thought he was worth. They gave him thirty pieces of silver, which he scornfully called a “handsome price” because it was such a small amount. (Zech 11:13) The employers meant to insult Zechariah with this amount of money. To return the insult, God tells Zechariah to throw it to the potter in the Temple, which is a proverbial expression for showing disdain, contempt and lack of respect.

When Judas Iscariot went to the leaders of Israel to betray Jesus, he asked them, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” And they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. (Matt. 26:15) And from then on he watched for an opportunity to dry gulch Jesus. It came at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Judas arrived with the chief priests and elders and arranged a signal of who it was to arrest. “The one I kiss is the man, arrest him.” (Matt 26:48) The chief priests had the intent to kill Jesus all along. The second part of being dry gulched happened to Jesus too. He was spit on, struck with their fists, others slapped him, had a crown of thorns put on his head, was struck again and again, was hit with a whip 39 times until the flesh on his body was severely mauled.

When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned to be put to death, he was seized with remorse and returned to the chief priests and returned the thirty pieces of silver, saying he had sinned and had betrayed innocent blood. They refused to take the blood money back, so Judas threw the money into the temple, left and went and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said it was against the law to put it into the treasury, because it was blood money. So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. (Matt 27:1-7)

So as it shows from the Old Testament accounts, these stories about thirty pieces of silver were prophecy about Jesus, who willingly became a servant, and to shed His blood to save us from our sins. He was not caught unawares. He fully knew what was coming before He was born as a baby on Christmas. Because before Judas came to betray him with a kiss, Jesus had told his disciples, at the last supper, that his appointed time was near. He also prayed three times in the Garden and was sorrowful to the point of death. He knew He was about to be dry gulched, and yet did the Father’s will anyway.

And all I can say is, Thank you Jesus!

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