Two days before Jesus’ death, Jewish leaders held a meeting in the temple to kill the Son of God.
Three days before that meeting, on Palm Sunday, Jesus entered into Jerusalem as the triumphant king of the Jews. He rode a young donkey into Jerusalem, just as Jewish prophets prophesied that the Messiah would do. Most of the people who witnessed it all understood what was happening. They understood that the Son of David had triumphantly entered into the City of David. So they celebrated the king of Jerusalem, the king of the Jews.
They removed their cloaks and laid them on the road. They cut off palm branches and spread them on the road too. They worshiped Jesus, and that made the Jewish leaders angry.
Later that day, Jesus walked into the temple, and he removed everyone and everything that turned the house of prayer into a house for a prosperity gospel. That made the Jewish leaders angry.
That Sunday, Jesus healed people who couldn’t see and people who couldn’t walk, and many others worshiped him and worshiped God at the temple. And that made the Jewish leaders angry.
Two days after that, on the following Tuesday, Jesus shared a parable with the Jewish leaders. He said that a man planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants before he traveled to another country. And when it was the season for harvest, the owner sent a servant to receive his fruits. But the tenants beat him up. Then the owner sent another servant to the tenants. But they stoned him. Then again, the owner sent another servant to the tenants, but this time, they killed him.
Finally, the owner of the vineyard sent his son to the tenants, believing that they would respect him. However, when the tenants saw the owner’s son, they believed that if they killed the him—the heir to the vineyard—then they would become the rightful owners of the vineyard. Then Jesus said:
What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Mark 12:9-11)
The Jewish leaders didn’t need Jesus to explain the meaning of the parable to them. The Bible teaches that they understood Jesus’ words. They understood that they were the tenants who kill God’s servants and the Son of God, and that made them angry.
So the next day, on Wednesday, the Jewish leaders plotted to kill Jesus. They killed the king of Israel because he was a threat to them. They crucified Jesus because of their greed for power. But God’s enemies will always be powerless. They were powerless in Egypt, powerless in Babylon, powerless in Rome, and powerless in Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders killed Jesus, but they didn’t win. Jesus’ death was necessary for the power of his resurrection.
Jesus’ enemies will not be heirs of anything. They will not receive an inheritance. Instead, they will give an account to him. They will pay for the penalty of their sins forever. They will be destroyed by the wrath of God in Hell. But Jesus and everyone who trusts in him will be heirs together in the new Jerusalem forever.
God’s enemies rejected his Son Jesus Christ so that we would receive him as our cornerstone, the foundation of the church. This is the Lord’s doing, and it’s marvelous in our eyes.