Following Jesus in His Last Week
Difficult times are the perfect backdrop for Holy Week. The first Holy Week followed a series of horrific plagues and began with God’s people fleeing in haste. As we enter into this holy time with hearts made vulnerable by the heartaches we feel, what a joy to remember we are on a journey to the Promised Land!
Bringing purity to your faith
Jesus had cleared out the temple once before. At the start of His ministry three years before, He exploded on the scene with great zeal for His Father’s house. At the close of His ministry, following the Triumphal Entry, Jesus again went straight to the Temple. He was – and is – always about the Father’s business.
In the first cleansing, the Jews challenged Jesus to present a sign to justify his actions. They scoffed at His response of destroying ‘the temple and rebuilding it in three days.’ But in the following three years, God had validated Jesus’ ministry with signs and wonders, and this time, the religious leaders made no immediate response.
But Jesus knew their response would come, and He prepared His disciples by instructing them in the power of real faith as they walked toward the Temple. There, the religious leaders confronted Jesus with a challenge to His authority to disrupt religious activities. He responded with a question of his own. ‘Where did John the Baptist’s authority come from?’
The Pharisees hedging response revealed that maintaining the status quo mattered more to them than finding the truth, so, Jesus, said, ‘Neither will I tell you.’ Jesus never wastes time with hearts unwilling to submit to the Lord, unready to step into real faith. The power of God is open to sincere seekers.
It often takes dark times to inspire us to seek the Light of the World. When our lives shake with uncertainty, Truth that will stand the test of time becomes a treasure.
Dark times initiate heart cleansing – which is the temple of this age. Repentance – turning from our pride and preferences – renovates our heart so it can be a holy temple: a place to meet with the King!
As you journey toward Resurrection Life, ask Holy Spirit to reveal:
Where you are tempted to choose the comfort of religion over the challenge of faith.
How difficulties have deepened and purified your faith.
Truths that will hold you fast in hard times.