Every day I see sin and I see selfishness and I see a perversion of what God has called us to do here… and I’m just talking about myself.
I mean, we’re pretty good Christians right? Go to church, hang out on Wednesday nights, read some cool Christian blog posts (thanks for reading by the way), maybe even say some prayers… but we have fallen to sin, and we continue to fall every day.
The point is that try as we may, we are sinful beings and we will continue to sin until the day we die, and that kinda stinks when you think about it.
But today we’re talking about Holy Week, the week leading up to Christ’s death and resurrection (sorry, spoiler alert if you didn’t know).
Yesterday, Christ came into Jerusalem riding a donkey and with the procession of palm branches (here is a previous post I wrote on this!)
Today (well about 2,000 years ago), Christ enters into a temple and some not temple-y things are happening. When he walks in, the temple is filled with people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. This wasn’t an uncommon practice because until Christ died on the cross, animal sacrifice was the way to wash away your sins.
In Matthew 21:12-13 it says, “Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, ‘The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!'”
Yes, you have read this right, Jesus is visibly upset with these people. So upset that He busted in Hulk style and started flipping tables and driving out those who weren’t following God’s commandment.
That’s kind of crazy right? We normally think of Jesus as a meek and mild dude who is happy all of the time and feeds everyone and makes everyone not sick… but here He is in full force showing everyone just how important the temple is.
Don’t read this wrong, this isn’t a passage that says you need to get mad at everyone who is sinning, that is not what Jesus is doing here. Jesus simply was acting on His conviction and confronting those who went against what the Bible taught.
He brought a reminder to the people that they literally couldn’t ignore.
Does this reminder mean anything to us or was this just an isolated incident that made for a good story to put in the Bible when they were writing it?
What do we do at our “temple”? I know we’ve talked a little bit about prayer the last few weeks, but I want to offer a challenge to everyone reading the blog.
Be bold. Seek God. Make Him known to others, even if that means talking about Him at church.
I think a lot of times when we are at the well on Wednesday nights, we forget that everyone else is hurting. That they are sinners, just like we are. We fall down and it hurts our soul, we need God in our lives.
What if someone is coming to youth not just to hang out, but because they are depressed and need more than the earthly “laugh, play ping pong, win free stuff, get a cool check-in card for my key ring”?
Could we offer anything else? Jesus certainly thinks so, otherwise He wouldn’t have flipped tables to get our attention.
Does Jesus have your attention today? Can you see this account not as a dusty old bible story, but a call to action in this youth group?
We are just beginning Holy Week and I am going to post every day in accordance to what Jesus did during this time.
I hope you can be encouraged, but more importantly I hope that you can sense God speaking to us through these passages and events.
God doesn’t speak to us in conventional ways, but this is a prime example of how He tries to tell us to live.
Be bold today and in our youth group. Let your faith be the kind God wants us to have, not the easy one that happens when you don’t think about it.
It will literally transform your life.
Dear Lord, we are so much more than the happy, fun, goofy, cool, popular people we try so hard to be all of the time around others.
We are broken and we are fallen and only You can fix that. Keep us from avoiding what You have called us to be on this Earth. Show us courage and show us how to love others in a real substantial way that points them to You. Jesus wants the temple to remain holy so help me to treat my time at church with intentionality this week Lord. We long for You and Your love, help us find it. Amen.