The day after Palm Sunday, after Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, He entered the Temple. What He found was not pleasing. Jesus found His Father’s house being used for money exchanges, the selling of animals at a profit for sacrifices, and outright extortion. It was no longer a place of worship, but a “den of robbers.” Read the accounts below.
God was being dishonored in the temple, selfishness, greed, and the lack of true heartfelt worship. It was virtually impossible to enter the temple and bring a heartfelt offering to the Lord. Try and imagine yourself there. The noise, the smell of the animals, the people, lots of people, and the money changing hands. You’re there, money in hand after traveling a long distance, wanting to purchase an animal for your families sacrifice. But, you have to exchange your money, you’re taken advantage of with a poor exchange rate and then price gauged when you go to purchase an animal. I would feel worn down, defeated, and not very joyful.
Jesus was angered by all that he saw and He made it be known. He overturned the tables, stopping everyone in their tracks. I can’t imagine the looks on the faces of the priests and elders in the temple courts. They were revealed for who they truly were to all of the people, pious, arrogant, more focused on position than service. I am sure word spread quickly through the city of what Jesus had done. Some were grateful, but many began plotting to kill Him.
This week is a good time to take a look inside my heart. To seek cleansing for anything that may be separating me from God, to seek purification so I may worship Him with a clean heart in the remaining days leading up to Easter. I desire to worship Him fully, with my heart, mind and soul. These passages cause me to dig in and take extra time this week to worship Him with song, prayer and maybe even a little dancing for joy at all He has sacrificed for me.
Won’t you do the same? When was the last time you sat with God, asking Him to purify your heart so you could worship Him with abandon? Pray this piece of scripture back to Him and experience His peace and love wash over you.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
(Psalm 51:1-4, 7-10)