The King Disturbs the Peace

Today is Monday, day two of Holy Week. We’re one day closer to the crucifixion and resurrection of The King. Jesus has entered Jerusalem on a donkey, and heads to the temple on Monday.

Palm Sunday has passed, and in today’s passage we see Jesus teaching in the temple. However, this isn’t a normal day in the temple. Thousands of people are still trying to enter Jerusalem for Passover, and finding a place to sit, or even stand in the temple seems impossible. Mark’s gospel tells us that upon entering the temple, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves (Mark 11:15). Jesus walks into the temple, which is supposed to be a house of prayer, but instead hears bartering and sale negotiations. Rather than being a place for people of every nation to pray and worship God, the temple has become a place of business. Faithful people are entering to worship, but are being sold goods at outrageous prices before being able to enter. A holy anger, a righteous anger stirs up in Jesus, and he begins throwing the tables on their sides. Pigeons and goats scatter and fly away. Gold coins are flown across the floor, and people are diving over one another to pick up what they can.

Angry voices rise and hearts are filled with anger, but one remains righteous. The scribes, pharisees, and priests stand back and watch the event take place. They observe the crowd and watch as their profits and business associates are thrown out of the temple. In a matter of seconds, Jesus disrupted their bank accounts, revealed their sin, restored order in the temple, and is now going to teach the crowd. Jesus has not only put himself on the religious leaders’ radar, but has also disturbed the peace and will soon be on Rome’s radar.

Many people like to imagine Jesus as this happy-go-lucky, rosy cheeked man that loves everything and everyone no matter what. However, that is far from the truth. God holds a very specific and holy wrath for sin. As a matter of fact, he hates it. He hates it and promises to destroy it. On this night, Jesus releases a small drop of that anger. However, in a few nights, Jesus will take the full weight, the full curse, the full pain, the full wrath of God on the cross. Later, Jesus went on to say that our bodies are a temple, and that God himself dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. So, what’s your heart like tonight? What does your temple look like? Is it a place of prayer? A place that seeks God? Or is it a place that has forgotten its purpose?

This is what Holy Week is about. Tonight, and for the next five nights, I encourage you to seek the Lord and prepare your heart for Easter. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin you may not even be aware of and bring it to God.

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