Holy Week (this week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday) is the time we remember the last week of Jesus’s earthly life leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection. To some Christians, this is often a sacred and solemn time of prayer and meditation as we consider the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
In our Facebook video yesterday, we remembered that on Monday of Holy Week, Jesus went to the temple, where he flipped over the tables of the people who were selling things.
Scripture: Mark 11:12-19
12 The next morning [meaning Monday after Palm Sunday] as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. 14 Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it. 15 When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. 17 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ (from Isaiah 56:7) but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (from Jeremiah 7:11) 18 When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching. 19 That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city.
This event stands out to us, as it should. Jesus displays a righteous anger toward those who have perverted God’s house of worship, flipping over tables and chasing people out. This is not the lamb-cuddling, cloud-surfing, Jesus that we often see in paintings.
Why did Jesus do this?
Jesus is our high priest who forgives our sins, and he’s also a prophet who tells the hard truth that we often don’t want to hear. Jesus died to save our sins, yes, but the reason the religious authorities were so eager to kill him was because he confronted their sinful use of power and challenged their authority.
Good questions to ponder today:
- How am I using the power God has given me? For good or for evil?
- What part of my life needs cleansing? What sins need to be forgiven?
Almighty God, who cleansed the whole earth with the flood in the days of Noah, give us clean hands and clean hearts by the power of your grace, so that we might not need to be expelled from your temple, but gathered in as those who are in right relationship with you, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Be blessed today.