by Tim Kimberley
Matthew 21:12-13 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
This is the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. Every moment of this week drips with meaning and passion. Jesus will stay in the immediate area of Jerusalem for the next 5 days until, “It is finished.”
How does our Creator kick-off His last week on earth? Jesus has every right to spend this day relaxing. He could focus on saving His energy for the cross. Jesus, however, has something more pressing than His own comfort. He wants to give us all a very clear message. Jesus pays the temple a visit.
For centuries people came near to God at the temple. In order to make a sacrifice for your sins you needed to give the priest a lamb. The innocent lamb would then symbolically take your sin. The blood of the lamb, as it is being sacrificed, would pay for your sin. If you were too poor to afford a lamb, you could purchase a pigeon.
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As Jesus walked into the temple on this day he was filled with righteous anger. Jesus was furious with the jacked-up religious nonsense happening at the temple. People were not allowed to bring their own animals for sacrifice. The animals had to be purchased by the people running the temple. The animals were much more expensive at the temple than in the countryside. In addition to the animal prices being super high, the temple only allowed you to buy the animals with temple money. How did you get temple money? Well, you had to exchange your perfectly good regular money for temple money. Converting your money to temple money, of course, came with additional transaction fees. People had to pay extra money to then buy the extra expensive animals. The poorest of people were being robbed as they simply desired for God to forgive their sins. This didn’t sit well with Jesus.
The Height of Love, Jesus, spent the beginning of this week taking care of business…