On Monday, Jesus enters the temple and we see a much different side of Jesus than we witnessed the day before when he rode humbly into Jerusalem. On this day, we see the righteous anger of Christ, as he overturns tables and shouts “My house will be a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers (Mark 11:17).” There are two brief points I want to draw from this.
First, Jesus is claiming that the temple belongs to him. He makes it clear that this is “my house,” and if true, his actions are completely justified. Can you imagine if someone walked into your house, began rearranging your furniture, and doing whatever they wanted? How incensed would you be? For centuries, people have been desecrating his sacred house, and Jesus is reminding them whose house it truly is. For those who are in Christ, we (both corporately and individually) are the temple of God. And as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, we are the temple of Holy Spirit, whom we received from God. We are not our own. We were bought with the price of Christ’s blood. We are his house. We belong to Christ, so let’s honor him with our lives.
Secondly, the purpose of his words and actions is to cleanse the temple from impurities. A few days before our first child was born, our house was robbed. Thankfully we were not present, but I have never felt more violated or angry. I try to remember what I felt then, whenever I read this story. After the police came and left, the first thing we did was deep clean our house. We wanted no trace of this violation and sin against us. What Jesus does in overturning tables, is symbolic of what Christ would do in a few days. He is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” He has come to deep clean our sins, and the sins of the world. And He wants to continue cleansing us, till we are “sanctified through and through.”
In light of all that happened on passion week over two thousand years ago, and in light of all that is going on today, let’s remember again who we belong to, and the sanctification Christ wants to bring about in our lives.
- Daniel Son
Lead Pastor, Church of the Beloved