Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday of Passion Week

Throughout this week, we'll commemorate the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, marking each day with the events corresponding to that day.

MONDAY: On this day of Passion Week, we commemorate Jesus' work in the city. According to Matthew 21, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem (at right) on Sunday to a celebratory crowd, all of them crying out "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" People honored his arrival and celebrated Him as a messenger of the Lord.

When Jesus returned on Monday, he found the Temple filled with money changers. Because standard money was considered too "dirty" for use in the Temple, you had to change it for "pure" money - at an exorbitant exchange rate, of course. Furthermore, if you desired to make an offering of an animal, you would be required to trade your animal for one of the Temple animals, at a fee, of course. Jesus saw the injustice of this and, in Matthew 21:10-17, he drove the money changers out of the Temple grounds with a whip!

Jesus encountered a fruitless fig tree on his way with the disciples. According to Mark 11: 12-14, he cursed the fig tree and it withered.

In John 12, Jesus is accosted by the Pharisees. In the midst of the dispute, one his disciples, Phillip, had a some Greeks come to him with simple but powerful request: "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Wow. The simple power of a request can reshape lives.

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