Monthly Archives: April 2009

cholley’s holy week journey

Standard

jesus_christ

Tuesday, April 7

Mark 11:15-18
When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves,  and he stopped everyone from bringing in merchandise.  He taught them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a place of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” 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 enthusiastic about Jesus’ teaching.

I have to stop at the temple as part of my holy week journey. This passage has always had a profound effect on me. Jesus comes into town, hailed as king, and like other kings and generals who would come into town, goes to the temple, and as king, lays claim of God’s house.

What is significant is that the money changers and merchants were most likely set up in the outer courts of the temple, the Court of the Gentiles. Jesus is embarking on a mission which will fling open the doors of the new Kingdom to all people, not limited to Jews only. What has happened in the temple? The only place in the temple that non-Jews are allowed to be in is over run with merchants! It is probable that the merchants were selling doves and lambs for people to take in as their Passover sacrifice. What we end up with is “God’s people,” intent on keeping their religious rituals, who could care less if there is room for the “Gentiles.”

This bothers me greatly — I have seen churches that in a sense have filled up the outer courts with so much “stuff,” rules and empty religous rituals, that there isn’t any room for the outsiders, or any desire to make room for them.  I was once told to leave a church because my “lifestyle was not good enough.”  So is that the kind of kingdom Jesus lived and died for? I think not.  Let’s start overthrowing tables, and make room for those who so desperately need in.

Advertisements

cholley’s Holy Week Journey

Standard

jesus-mourn1

Monday, April 6, 2009

Luke 19:28-44 —

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey amidst of shouts of,  “Hosanna! God save us!” The people gathered have Messianic fever! They want to be saved! They want out of their bondage! They want to be free! In Matthew’s Gospel it says that the entire city is stirred…shaken up, when Jesus enters the city. Something was up…something was going to happen.

But wait, let’s back up just a tad. Luke mentions something important, I think. Just as Jesus is getting to Jerusalem, he stops, looks over God’s holy city, and Jesus weeps.

“If you had only known on this day what would bring you peace….”

“Hosanna! God save us!”

“…but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you…because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

“Hosanna! God save us!”

Oh, but God, do it my way if you please…

The Jews that day shouting, “Hosanna! God save us!” wanted political deliverance.

And Jesus weeps, because he knows the road he is on will bring so much more than freedom from an oppressive government. His is a spiritual solution not a political solution. And Jesus weeps, because he knows that they just don’t — won’t — get it. Jesus enters the city weeping for the city, not for himself, though he knows what the end of the week will bring him.

“Hosanna! God save us!”

Was Jesus thinking, “uh, I would if you would let me! Why don’t you let me do it my way?”

I cry out, you cry out, “Hosanna, God save me!” I want God to save me from my enemies; to save me from “bad stuff.” The question is, I think, am I really willing to let God save me from that which  enslaves me the most…myself?