Jesus lays it on the line this week. He is the Son of the Owner/Creator of the world. The world’s inhabitants in a fit of lunacy will slay him. What will God do with such inhabitants? What do they deserve? He will cast them out is the only reasonable conclusion, bring the wretches to their wretched end. It is the only sensible thing to do with such people. Thank God He is not sensible! In the profound mystery of Salvation, the very mechanism of our rebellion and inanely perverse logic has become the mechanism of our salvation. The powers of the first century thought that they would be rid of this troublesome preacher from Galilee and in killing him unleashed the power of God’s grace and mercy upon this world they sought to own and control.
Have you ever considered that our creeds put Jesus into the role of the judge? That line about judging the living the dead could also be found in the first article of the creed. After all, as creator, God has every right to judge us. Yet, it is Jesus who judges. That is phenomenally good news. The One who has given life and all to redeem us is our judge. The creator could not but find us guilty and condemn us to eternal excruciation. But the Lamb who was slain, will consider His own perforated body and, with all authority to do so, declare it is punishment enough, sin has been atoned for.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to such tenants? That is the question this week. Our joy is to proclaim the truth of Jesus’ answer to that question in a cross and empty tomb. That is what he will do. He will die for them and be raised for for their justification.