Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday Troubles

On the day after the chaotic cleansing of the Temple, the religious hierarchy overtly launches its attach against Jesus.  Things have gone far enough, perhaps, too far.  The common masses of people are ready to crown Him king and His actions in the Temple were like a declaration of war against the religious status quo.  Those who held the power could no longer tolerate Jesus.  He was viewed as an upstart rabbi and a dangerous insurrectionist.  Jesus had to go.  When Tuesday dawns in Jerusalem, Jesus is verbally attacked from all sides as those keepers of the status quo seek to trick Him into saying something which will discredit Him and reveal Him as a troublemaker who must be gone.

Such a moment comes to some folks who start out with the best intentions about following Jesus.  It is not just a response of the ones who are bent against Him from the beginning.  Starting out with Jesus is always an exciting thing.  Endless possibilities seem just over the horizons.  Challenges abound which promise a more fulfilling life.  But, then there comes that moment of clarity when expectations are muddied by reality.  Jesus does offer a more fulfilling life, even a more exciting one, but it only comes at the cost of giving up an old way of life for the new one He holds out to those who are bent on faithfulness. 

Lent challenges us and calls us to realize that mere emotion and the thrill of the beginning will not see us through to the end.  Jesus was walking a hard way when He set His face to go to Jerusalem.  It was not some sight seeing journey, but a steady walk toward the cross called for by a desire to be obedient to the Father at whatever the cost.  It is no different for us.  The question is not the one based on how we feel, but based on a love for God which will not allow us turn aside from whatever it is that He is asking of us.  The way of the cross is not the way for the fainthearted, but only for the ones who like Jesus have set their face down the road of obedience. 

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