Why Kill the Son? (Mark 12:1–11)

farm land during sunset
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Jesus tells a parable about a vineyard which is planted by God. Israel understood itself as that vineyard transplanted from Egypt (Psalm 80:8). God sends his servants the prophets to call his people to faithfulness.  When the time (kairos) was ripe for harvest the LORD calls for the fruit of faithfulness.

God’s people who are temporary residents are indignant that God expects a return on his investment. God’s people abuse and even kill the servants sent to prophesy and proclaim God’s word to them.

Remember the one telling this truth tale is Jesus. This perspective is not up for debate. The chief priests and other rulers grimace as he speaks but do not challenge his analysis.

Then comes the kicker. God decides to send his own son. Why? Why after all that violence would God send his son?!!

And why in the name of all that is logical would these temporary residents have the insane notion that if they commit murder they will be inheritors of the vineyard?

But God does his Son and the people of this earth who are temporal and momentary have abused, rejected and killed the Son. Humanity lives with the delusion that we can be our own god and owner even though we are temporary residents.

Jesus goes onto quote Psalm 118 because he is the fulfillment of this Psalm. He is the right hand Son of God who fulfills God’s faithfulness to Israel.

God understands our rebellion and violence against His Kingdom. The time (kairos) is full for God to bring about his kingdom. In the cross of his Son God overturns the power and idolatry of violence and death. Our violence, our rejection of God is taken up in his cross.

In our rejection of Christ, God builds a new temple of living stones founded upon Christ and his cross. The Son willingly came to absorb our violence so that humanity’s rejection of God could be clearly displayed. Giving us the opportunity to continue our resistance or to repent.We now have the opportunity to be made new tenants based on a new covenant.

This is what the Lord has done and it is marvelous in our eyes. (Mk 11:11, Ps 118:23)

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