Monday, March 21, 2016
The cleansing of the Temple on Monday was the catalyst for the cross on Friday. It may seem like an act unrelated to what happened on Good Friday, but instead, it speaks of the reality of the "cause/effect" dynamic of life. The animosity and hatred on the part of the religious hierarchy had been brewing for some time, but when Jesus turned the Temple economic table upside down, the deal was sealed. A once popular but almost forgotten theologian of another era named Walter Rauschenbush wrote that six sins combined to kill Jesus. One of them was graft and political power. Once Jesus touched the economic nerve of the power brokers, He could not be tolerated. The cross became inevitable.
As we find ourselves once again on this Monday of Holy Week and remember this act of Jesus and how the keepers of the religious status quo responded, we cannot help but wonder if there are some areas of our own life that cannot tolerate the cleansing touch, or even the righteous rage of Jesus. What is it that we hold to so tightly that not even His anger against it will cause us to make changes? What part of our life that we know as sinful is so important that we hold to it even though we know it is one of the forces that drives nails in the hands of the innocent One who breathed His last breath on the cross for us?
The closer we get to the cross, the more difficult it becomes to point our finger at others and their sins as the cause of His sacrificial death. The deeper the shadow, the more clarity we have as we see our own heart. It was the sin of those first century power brokers that put Jesus on the cross to die, but not just theirs. Their sins may have driven one of the nails in Hands, but my sins, your sins, surely drove the other.