Holy Week App for Easter Sunday
I have lots of questions about the events that took place during Jesus’ last week on earth. Don’t you wonder about why the fig tree is mentioned, not once, but twice? What does that have to do with crucifixion and death?
Jesus Clears the Temple in Jerusalem
Another question I’ve been challenged with is why Jesus went from the jubilant parade into Jerusalem where the crowd was wild about him, right into the dramatic scene in the Temple. While in the Temple Jesus offended, a mild term to say the least!, the leaders and vendors by overturning their cages of animals ready to be sold as sacrifices.
Can you imagine the scene of droves of pigeons, doves and lambs being set loose all at once? It must have been sheer chaos.
This morning I was awake at 4 a.m. and not feeling too happy about it. But, because I had the time, I asked Jesus to help me understand the “Temple Clearing,” one of his last public acts on earth.
After I asked the question, Ephesians 2:19-22 came to my mind:
“You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. And the cornerstone is Jesus Christ himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him, you Gentiles, are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.”
We are the Holy Temple
Hmmm. So, maybe, Jesus’ act was more about us, than the literal temple in Jerusalem.
He said, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13.)
That makes sense.
We, as the temple where God dwells, are called to be in relationship…a moment to moment, living, breathing, relationship with Jesus….our whole lives a prayer. But, the thief whose work is to create a nasty den of thieves wants to see us polluted and taken off track with our focus.
It happened in Jerusalem, it sure happens today.
Jesus Heals in the Temple
Amazingly, Jesus didn’t walk away after all the sacrificial animals were running or flying wild, but he stayed to do a work of healing. What I’d never noticed before is the healings were specific: the blind and the lame (Matthew 21:14).
Hmmm. Another realization. Jesus gives us spiritual eyes to see and supernatural power to walk out our faith life as holy temples, as ones who are beloved children and royal heirs.
The Holy Week ‘App’
So, some of you may be asking, “What’s a practical application for Holy Week?”
When you prepare to go to an Easter Resurrection Service, consider the reality that you aren’t going to church (or temple), but you are the church, the Holy Dwelling Place for God.
You aren’t seeking to experience his presence at a church service, but you carry his presence wherever you go.
You are the one for whom Jesus sacrificed his life to give you the opportunity to house his life inside of you.
You are the pure and holy temple, fully forgiven, fully healed, fully empowered and fully free!