by: David Kennedy
April 6, 2020
HOLY WEEK: Day 1
Over these next 5 days I am going to try and write my devotionals based on what the scriptures appear to tell us about Jesus, and the events in His life in each day leading up to His crucifixion. The 4 gospels, as they tell the Holy Week story, have similarities but also some differences (expected when you have 4 different witnesses of the same event). I will do my best to cover each day and what Jesus was doing as I understand it. So, here we go:
MONDAY - JERUSALEM 33 AD.
Jesus awakes in the house he is staying. The home is the home of Martha, Mary, and the recently resurrected Lazarus. It is in the small village of Bethany, about 4 miles from Jerusalem. It is the day after what we call Palm Sunday. The day after joyous crowds had lined the streets to welcome Jesus. Now it is quiet and Jesus probably enjoys the quiet time for a little while.
Sometime during the day, probably after breakfast, He has a 4 mile walk into Jerusalem. Normally Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is a city of 80,000 in 33 AD, but with Passover occurring this week it has swollen to a jam-packed city of over 100,000 to 120,000. The streets are crowded with people, peddlers, beggars and some Roman soldiers anxiously watching the crowd. Jesus and His disciples are walking to the Temple. It will be in the Temple where the action is today. This is the day that Jesus CLEANS THE TEMPLE to the shock of the merchants, priests, and probably even His disciples who have rarely seen Jesus mad. Jesus throws the money changers out of the temple and, quoting scripture, Jesus proclaims to all that can hear, "Is it not written that my house shall be a house of prayer for all the nations? But you have made it a den of robbers." I imagine all the average people that day whispered under their breaths, "Amen". Jesus certainly had everyone's attention at this time! The gospels indicate that this is when Jesus teaches some of his parables. Matthew specifies that this is where Jesus talks about the GREAT COMMANDMENT, "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. But Mark places it on Tuesday, and Luke places it earlier in Jesus' ministry in the telling of the parable of The Good Samaritan. John has it on Tuesday/Passover night (I'll explain that another day). All the Gospel's do agree that the cursing of the Fig tree was on Monday.
So, what does that mean for you and I on this Monday during the middle of a pandemic? Well, I think quiet time is something we all need to maintain our spiritual strength. So, my question for each of us today is have you developed a "prayer room" in your home during quarantine? If not, what are you waiting for? And if you have, are you using it? If not, why not? Second, there is nothing wrong with "Righteous Anger". Just make sure you are mad at something that would break the Lord's heart and not mad because someone didn't listen to you or didn't put something back, etc. Finally, some of Jesus' greatest parables seem to have been shared during this week. So, what part of Jesus can you share this week by email, face-time, Facebook, text, Instagram, etc. to make a difference in your family, friends, or communities’ lives? Think about it and act on it - just like our Lord did!
Amen & Amen!
Dad, Papa, Uncle Rich, "Butter", Son-in-Law, Rich, & Rev. Rich