The centre of worship
Every year, the Jews would travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. This temple in Jerusalem was the central place of worship.
The preparation for this celebration was like no other. Extensive travelling, cleaning, and cooking.
Jesus was no exception. He started this pilgrimage with his family at the age of twelve. We can presume Jesus attended this festival annually because he was a genuine leader and follower of God.
My Father’s house
From a young age, Jesus knew exactly who he was and who his Father was. This is unsurprising to us, as we now understand him to be fully God and fully human.
However, as witnesses of this boy growing up, I can imagine the shock on his aunties and uncles’ faces when he longed to be in his Father’s house. Unlike his peers in the neighbourhood seeking to earn a living from tending the flock or learning new carpentry skills, Jesus thrived in the Temple.
This was his home, his place, and his Father dwelled here.
So, what was different about this year’s return to Jerusalem?
Hosanna in the highest!
This was the crowd’s declaration as they welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem.There were people, one after another removing their cloaks and laying them before Jesus as he rode triumphantly on a colt. They cut branches to honour his royalty.
But did the crowds understand what they had just proclaimed and what wasto come?
Jesus was their long-awaitedKing and Saviour. He was ironically rejected and betrayed by them time and time again. Perhaps this Jesus did not fulfil their expectations as a worthy saviour.
Their hearts were so far from him
While the Jews were witnesses of Jesus’ existence, their eyes and hearts were not open to him. They did not know who he was.As a result, their desires led them and not the God they professed.
Their spontaneous actions revealed their fickleness. The crowds easily swayed by the loudest voices and the so-called norm. Within a week, they went from outrightly praising him to chanting for his crucifixion.
They had no wisdom to evaluate what was right or inherently wrong.
Is this not me too?
Cleansing of the temple
They went from a place of public worship to a public market. The purpose of these places was nothing but reversed.
A heart of worship they did not uphold.
As the crowds welcomed Jesus back to Jerusalem, they were unaware of his vow to righteousness. Jesus carried the same unrelenting love God has for us. He never ceases to fight for our purity that we may be connected to him in holiness.
If the temple represents our hearts, what would Jesus enter to drive out?
God desires a cleansing of our hearts more than outward cleanliness. He doesn’t treasure any fictitious celebration. He wants us to live consistently in a way that declares Jesus as our Saviour!
A house of prayer
Today, we have the honour of comprehending the entirety of Jesus’ mission. The very Passover that culminated every conflict and outrage against Jesus was the ultimate Passover.
He secured our future to pass from eternal death to life. He overcame every battling temptation so that our hearts may now become his new home.
Therefore, no matter how far your heart is from a house of prayer, don’t be surprised to find Jesus here.
Welcome him back with sincere joy and confession. Don’t ridicule him with any indecisiveness.
For he is devoted to living here forever.
Stephanie enjoys simple living, admiring nature’s beauty and intricacy, and playing the piano. She is particularly passionate about empowering the vulnerable. Writing is her way of processing thoughts and feelings to understand herself, God and the world in a deeper and more meaningful way.