PASSION WEEK :
Now we get to Monday and Tuesday of Passion Week:
The Day of Atonement & what was missed for 1,500 years:
In Leviticus 16, we see specific instructions for Aaron and his future line of priests.
But before all this, we see that Aaron’s sons had been killed ( Leviticus 10:1 ) for offering strange fire. That strange unauthorized fire-offering is for another post. Now, in Leviticus 16, we see that God gives Aaron instructions on how to approach the Holy of Holies. All these instructions are for a reason. They all point to the future Messiah-King Jesus who will fulfill the Suffering Servant ( Isaiah 53 ), High Priest ( Hebrews 8:6 ), and Redeemer ( Titus 2:14 ) in His Person for all eternity.
Aaron and his line of High Priests had to go and cleanse themselves before going into The Holy of Holies, because of their impurity, they would die if they did not meet the cleansing rituals.
Only the High Priest could go into the Holy Of Holies, and if anyone else decided to go in, they would die. This Holy of Holies meeting was only to be once a year ( Leviticus 16:16 ), on the day of Atonement.
The High Priest entered the holiest place to petition and intercede for the sins of all the people of Israel, to take the sins away for that year.
This yearly Day of Atonement Feast was one of the Holy Convocations or Rehearsals of the LORD. In other words, they were called The LORD’s Feasts or Feasts of the LORD. They were not Feasts of Israel, and this should give us an inclination that if God commanded the Feasts rehearsed yearly, there must be an exceptional reason for it.
The Servant king Cleanses His House:
Now fast forward roughly 1,500 years. We see in Matthew 21:12-19, Jesus had to cleanse the man-made Temple. Why? Because He is The True Temple ( John 2:19 ), He sits in the real Holy of Holies in Heaven but needed to make sure the Temple in Israel was ready ( Hebrews 9:10-12 ).
Jesus had to get rid of every impurity before His final sacrifice on the cross. His House, the Temple, had to be cleansed to get it ready for the last sacrifice needed forever and ever. Jesus knew that the Temple in Jerusalem was not qualified to receive the final blood sacrifice that the Jews had been practicing these past 1,500 years.
So Jesus took it upon Himself to get rid of the greed, filth, and sin which had been festering in within the Temple walls of Jerusalem.
The Sacrifical Gift:
Jesus, therefore, by driving out and overturning the money changers’ tables, was purifying His house to receive His gift to mankind. Jesus would be the final Passover Lamb. He would once and for all( Romans 6:10 ), provide all people, not just the Jews, a Way (John 14:6 ) to come back home.
This is why the Jewish leadership so aggravated Jesus. The priests had taken the cleansing ritual so far away from what it was supposed to be. The Temple area was for all people, but the authorized Temple vendors were selling in the court of the Gentiles!
By selling animals in the Court of the Gentiles, the Jewish leaders and their people would stay clean from unclean animals being sold for sacrifices. The gentiles who were coming in to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were being submitted to uncleanliness due to being around those animals.
This is why Jesus was so righteously angry. And this is why He said that they (Temple Priests) had made His House into a den of thieves ( Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 21:13 ) and closed to all except those who were burdened by the 613 mini commandments ( Mitzvot, Matthew 23 ) that were added little by little throughout the Jewish history.
The Servant Teacher making it simple:
Jesus came to say, “You can’t obey all these commands. They are too much. You couldn’t even follow the Ten I gave you at Mount Sinai, and now you have converts spinning their wheels because they are trying to keep up with your man-made traditions!”
All this to say, Jesus came to take away all those 613 mini commands. He even made the Ten He gave to Israel easier for everyone to understand:
— Love God with all you have, love your neighbor as yourself ( Matthew 22:37 ), that’s it!
Remind Ourselves every day:
So today, as we are all inside our homes, keep in mind Jesus had to cleanse His earthly home for our sake.
Remind yourself every day how much Jesus loves all of us, and the price He paid for cleansing that man-made Temple.
By cleansing the Temple, Jesus would now be marked for death by His enemies. The priests in the Temple would now vow to kill Jesus at all costs.
Tuesday—The Day of reckoning:
On this Monday and Tuesday, almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus would have sealed His fate, by cleansing His house and by calling the scribes and Pharisees wicked servants of God ( Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-18 ). He would officially be the enemy of the Jewish State, or I should say, the enemy of the Jewish Leadership, who would now plot Jesus’ death…no matter the price.
Humble & Contrite hearts:
Jesus came to make it simple and back to the original basics:
We were to Love God with everything we had or with our whole being. And…
We were to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.
How? By coming to God humbly and with a sorrowful heart of worship and connection with the Almighty.
More on this later...
Come to know God with a humble heart, ask Him to cleanse your inner house. If it’s not cleansed, ask Jesus to clean you whole. Here’s how:
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