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02 — Jesus Cleanses the Temple

artwork created by Zoe Palmateer

02 — Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Day of the Week: Monday
Location: Mount of Olives and Jerusalem

Read: Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48

When Jesus entered the Temple, He expected to see people praying for needs and people praising and thanking God for His provision. Instead, He saw a marketplace where people were profiting from animals to be sacrificed.

According to Old Testament Jewish law, animal sacrifices were necessary to atone for sin. Many people had to travel a great distance to make it to the temple to offer this sacrifice and traveling with animals could prove difficult. Money changers and animal vendors starting popping up in the Temple out of convenience to the people. But eventually fees for their services were added on and soon the money changers were making excessive profits that took advantage of people who were coming to worship God.

God never wanted people to pay for atonement for their sins. God had another plan to freely give His Son, Jesus, who would be the Ultimate Sacrifice. Jesus would, once and for all, pay the price for our sins so that we no longer have to offer animal sacrifices to become clean.

Jesus’ anger in this passage is a holy anger. His heart for justice was moved at seeing God’s people taken advantage of, and so he overturned the tables of the vendors and money changers and boldly challenged them saying, “My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

As we approach this Easter, may we check our own hearts and attitudes. Is there anything we need to clear out or clean out? Bring it before Him. Jesus’ sacrifice covers over all.

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