By Not Known
Consider this story: A man started a business, which, in time, he entrusted to others to run for him. These people turned against him and refused to pay any attention to him or to give him the loyalty he expected. He sent some representatives to meet with them and warn them. But they ignored these people and even mis-treated some of them.
What do you think happens next? We expect to hear that the owner sent his lawyers in to prosecute the offenders and seize back the business.
Now read Mt 21:33-37. This is a parable of God’s kingdom told through the story of a vineyard, the owner and the tenants. Notice the owner’s response to the rejection of his messengers – he sent his son.
Now think about this verse: God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)
From the time that humans first chose to deny and defy him, God had a choice to judge or to save. Judgment is deserved and no one can complain if God chooses to judge – especially after so much time and so many warnings given through the Old Testament period. There would be no puzzle had God decided to judge and punish the whole of humanity after such repeated rejections of him.
However, God’s choice was to love and to save. He chose to send his Son Jesus, even though he too was to be rejected by those he came to save (Mt 21:38-39).
God glorified himself by this choice to love and to save. This is the real puzzle. People sometimes see a puzzle in the judgments of God. But, the real puzzle is in God’s choice to save. Judgment is deserved, but salvation is a love-gift.
Of course, the judgment must eventually come, for God must be true to all aspects of his nature (perfect in his mercy, holiness, truth, justice and so on). As Jesus’ parable goes on to tell, it will be terrible for those who choose to stand outside of God’s choice to save through Jesus (Mt 21:40-44).
For now, let us prayerfully rejoice in the God who chose to save and gave Jesus to make it happen. And, let us be sure that we grasp this salvation while we can.