Note: We are celebrating Holy Week. Of course, every week is holy, but you know what I mean. I hope these excerpts from my book Easter–Beyond the Bunny help you explore the wonder of the Passion.
…zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me (Psalm 69:9).
Jesus entered the city and went up to the temple. It was Passover, the biggest holiday of the Jewish year, so the joint was really jumping. Many people had come from a long way away to be part of the celebration. Rather than transport all the animals you would need for the various sacrifices, it was normal and acceptable to buy what you needed when you got to Jerusalem. The customary practice was for vendors to set up shop at a convenient place near the temple.
What Jesus saw when he arrived was dramatically different. The vendors had their booths and tables set up in the temple itself. They were operating in an area called the Outer Court, the only place in the temple where non-Jews could come to worship God. There they were, selling animals and changing foreign currency into local currency, and just generally carrying on noisy business, all while people were trying to worship.
Jesus was furious. He knocked over the tables and chased the vendors out of there. John even says that Jesus made a whip and used it to drive the blasphemers away. He yelled at them, saying, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers!’”
This is not the meek and mild Jesus we think of from Sunday School flannel boards.
He is not holding a lamb on his shoulders.
He does not have little kids crawling all over him.
He is not happy.
This is the Messiah, the Lion of Judah. This is a man of righteous integrity, protecting the purity of his father’s house.
Do the insults of those who insult God fall on you? There are a lot of people out there who mock Jesus, and this is a prime season for them to do it in. Does that bother you, Beloved? What are you doing about it? Do you stand for Christ in your daily world? Look, I’m not calling you to grab a whip and chase the heathen out of town—but if you do, please send me pictures and I’ll post them.
There is no sitting for Christ. You stand, or you fall.
Stand for him today, Beloved.