Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Let his blood be on us and our children": Covenantal ratification in Matthew's Gospel

Another excerpt from my book.

As the parable of the vineyard indicates (21:33-40), Jesus is the culmination of the rejection of prophetic mediation, in that in rejecting him, they reject the living Word of God come in person. Again, much like the golden calf, such rejection seeks alternative false mediation in the form of Barabbas. As a revolutionary, Barabbas also claims to be one who can bring the kingdom of heaven, the content of Jesus’ ministry of law and promise. Nevertheless, even in their rejection of Jesus, God's faithfulness succeeds. At his trial, those who condemn him demand that "his blood be on us and on our children" (27:25). We are reminded of the fact that Jesus' own blood is that of the "covenant" (26:28) and that the Servant, the new Moses would sprinkle the nations (Isa 52:15), much like Moses sprinkled the children of Israel when he ratified the covenant with them in Exodus 24. In effect, their rejection of the new and everlasting covenant paradoxically means its ratification.

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