A terrible price
“What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26.15
Proving that price does not always equal value is Judas' betrayal of Jesus. 30 pieces of silver for the only perfect life ever lived! Life itself is sacred and, because we bear the image of God, that renders every human life beyond price. The Bible is in no doubt that Jesus' betrayal and death was a travesty of justice and an outrage of cruelty. At the same time, the Bible is just as adamant that the death of Jesus conformed to God's plan to redeem the world from sin.
This does not mean that God engineered the behaviour of Judas and the Jews and the Romans who conspired to execute Jesus. God didn't have to. Since the fall of Adam and Eve humans have been hard-wired to resist God, the death of Jesus was the inevitable consequence of his entering the world in virtue and vulnerability.
Against all expectations, however, the death of Jesus did not result in his annihilation. Instead it achieved the very opposite! On account of Jesus' willing sacrifice of his life for the sin of the world, he fulfilled The Law and opened the way back to God and eternal life - all of which was confirmed in his resurrection and ascension into Heaven. That this extraordinary and glorious transaction was no mistake is confirmed by the 3rd gift brought by the Magi to Jesus at his birth. Myrrh is used for embalming dead bodies and so the message is clear: Jesus came to die. And not as a tragic folk hero but so that we who follow him might live - eternally, which means fully and forever.