Some things are not impacted by Covid-19. One of those things is Palm Sunday, which we celebrated yesterday. As we focused on Jesus' triumphal entry, we celebrated and remembered together with the worldwide body of Christ. We need this reassurance of rituals, enabling us to look beyond our present circumstances and emotions and come back to the place of abiding, of being with Jesus - especially in the midst of stressful and demanding times. Palm Sunday yesterday and the Holy Week leading us up to Easter provide us this ritual and opportunity to shift our focus to the center stone of our faith - the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem he was welcomed as the king. And King Jesus did come - righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). People were stirred and left wondering who this Jesus is. In Matthew21:9-11 (NIV) we read:
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
Who is this Jesus? The people of Jerusalem who welcomed him as their king cried 'crucify him' a few days later. Was Jesus their king? Or was he a criminal and a danger to their well-being?
Right after his triumphal entry, Jesus went to the temple and caused quite some conflict. In righteous anger he cleansed the place ordained for prayer and worship. It was at that point, we read in Mark11:15-19, that the chief priests and the scribes, observing Jesus cleansing the temple and hearing Jesus teach, were looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching.
Sometimes, I wonder if we are really aware that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And that temple is built for prayer and worship - for hosting the presence of God. What happens in our soul, body and spirit matters to Jesus! And if there is 'stuff' going on in our temple - he will confront it and teach us how to come back to the place of prayer and worship, the place of abiding in Him. We may call him 'King Jesus' but do we appreciate Jesus loving us so much that he confronts the 'den of robbers' in our soul? Would we still hail him as King if he enters places in our soul we might not even be aware of that need cleansing?
As we move towards Easter, maybe we have to take the courageous step to consciously invite Jesus into the areas in our lives we might not be so sure about what he would find. He is our King - coming to save us, gentle and righteous, humble and victorious.
How about you? Who is this Jesus to you? What's going on in your temple?
Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash