April 11, 2022 –Holy Monday

This week in our Rooted, we’ll take a little detour. It’s Monday of Holy Week, and each day this week, we’ll be reading about what happened that day, leading up to the cross. We’ll journey together, and in this week, as we understand better what happened, we’ll understand better the pain of the cross, but also the mystery and the power of Easter. 

Today is Holy Monday, and there are several things that happened on this day, but one of the things that we often focus on is the cleansing of the Temple.  You can read it in Matthew 21: 12-17

12 Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 He said to them,

“It is written,
‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’;
    but you are making it a den of robbers.”

14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he cured them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became angry 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

‘Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies
    you have prepared praise for yourself’?”

17 He left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

The thing that is key for us to understand in this passage is Jesus’ motivation. This isn’t Jesus finally letting loose or throwing a hissy fit.  This is Jesus, coming into His Father’s house and instead of finding it devoted to prayer, He finds it as a place for everyone to make a dollar.  Folks are exchanging Roman money for Temple money.  Folks are selling animals for sacrifices that don’t really measure up.  Folks are doing all kinds of things in God’s name, not to draw folks to God, but doing it for their own good or their own profit.

They are using the things for God, not for God’s glory, but for their benefit.

They are not worried about drawing folks to God, they are worried about how they can use God’s name for their own stuff.

They are placing a roadblock in front of access to God.

They are not drawing folks into the kingdom, they are keeping folks out.

God’s house is a house of prayer. They have made it anything but that.  So, Jesus cleans it.  He restores it.  He sets it straight.  This Holy Week will result in a means of salvation, that all who believe can be saved.  He will be lifted up, and He will draw all to Himself. 

Jesus will draw people to God.  They were pushing away. That is why He did what He did.

So, today, are we drawing people to God?  Or are we pushing them away?  May we be faithful in the mission and calling of our savior, to draw all the world into a saving relationship with the Father.   

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