Jesus Messiah

Isaiah 53:1-3

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lords presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Jesus was sent as the Messiah, the anointed one who was to save the Jews, but He was not widely accepted. He was not what people expected in a Messiah. Many expected a powerful ruler and king like what they were used to. They wanted a king, someone who would lead them and protect them, but what they received was Jesus instead. What they received was someone who longed to earn their love and loyalty rather than force himself upon them. They did not see Jesus for who He was. He did not come in the typical grandeur and glory that was expected of a king. He was born under persecution and in a stable. He was born as a carpenter’s son, a lowly boy born into a lowly family.

Jesus humbly sought out the Jewish people, the Israelites that God had delivered from captivity and death on so many occasions. He sought to show them the truth, but was greatly rejected. Many people rejected Him, just as was prophesied in Isaiah and many have continued to reject Him for who He is.

Are we any different? Do we proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah or do we submit to Satan in keeping quiet about who Jesus is? And if we claim that Jesus is our Messiah do we submit to Him? It is interesting that even the demons knew who Jesus was and were forced to submit to his authority.

Luke 4:33-35

Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—began shouting at Jesus, “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further.

Jesus has power over the enemy and they must submit to Him, but He does not seek to assert that power over His people. For all those who would call upon His name and follow Him freely He gives life. Jesus did not come to assert His power and strength, He came in humility to invite people to trust in Him and to follow Him for the rest of their life and when they do He promises them eternal life.

This week is Holy Week, the week preceding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is Sunday and is a day in which many who have not yet given their lives to Jesus will be in the church. The Holy Spirit is working on their hearts at this very moment to help bring them to a decision and He wants to use you to help them to know Jesus. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to work on your heart to soften it for the lost that are broken and hurting? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to show you some people in your life that you can share your story with about how Jesus changed your life?

Jesus is the Messiah, of which even the demons acknowledge, but He came for so much more than to just be acknowledged. He came to be our Savior by dying on the cross for us. He came to raise us from the dead to be with the Father in Heaven by dying on the cross for us. He came to be our Lord, but He will not force Himself on anyone. The demons know who He is and shudder, they are forced to submit to His every word, but every person has a choice to make.

This week my prayer is that you will listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your heart to share your story with others around you. To tell people about how Jesus has changed your life. And if you are having troubles in defining how Jesus has changed your life then this is a great opportunity for you to seek out Jesus and submit your life to Him, because when you do you will notice a change in your life. When you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit you cannot help, but to become more Holy as you faithfully give yourself to Jesus.

Monday of Holy Week

Monday of Holy Week
On Sunday evening of what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus left Jerusalem and went to Bethany where He stayed the night (Mk. 11:11).

Mark 11:12-19

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple. And he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.

Castiglione,_Giovanni_Benedetto_-_Jésus_chasse_les_vendeurs_du_temple_-_17th_century

The cursing of the fig tree is possibly a parallel to the Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk. 13:6-9) and symbolic of what was happening as the nation had, at this time of the cursing, rejected Jesus for three years. In keeping with the parable of the barren fig tree the tree should be cut down since it was not producing any fruit, just like what was happening in the nation at this time.

The clearing of the temple was to remove those were selling sacrificial animals to help those who lived in far off lands make their appropriate sacrifices to God through purchasing their sacrifice. The problem was that they had turned it into a way for people to make money and to cheat people who were not able to bring the appropriate sacrifice the distance to the temple. As Jesus entered the temple he knew what had been going on and immediately cleared the temple. This was one of the few occasions where we see Jesus exhibiting any sort of anger, and it was a righteous anger at that. The people had defiled the holy place of God and Jesus would not stand for it.

Today we do not offer sacrifices at a temple like people used to have to do, instead we are to “offer [y]our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1). We are told in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 that we “are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in [y]our midst.” So if you picture your body as a temple of God and then place yourself into the timeline as the temple that Jesus cleared out. What would He have to clear out from you? Our bodies are the holy temple of God. Holiness is an attribute of God and no other, so whatever is not of God must be removed from the temple. These are the things in our life that the Holy Spirit is prompting us to change. Some are small things that can be easily discarded while others will take more effort and God sees the effort that we put forth. He knows when we love Him and are willing to do anything it takes to be closer to Him.

This is the final week before Jesus is placed on the cross for the sins that we carry. What sins need to be removed from the temple that you house within you today?

Cleansing of the temple

Father, we thank you for Jesus who on this day in history cleared the temple of the money changers who were cheating the people. We ask of you to reveal the money-changers within us who are cheating us from being closer to you. Father, we desire to offer ourselves to you as holy and pleasing, but we recognize that we can only do that with your help and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We turn to you Lord and beg of you to cleanse us, remove everything from us that is not you and fill it with your presence. Lord, use us as a light to the world to illuminate those around us who are in darkness. Father, place these people on our hearts and place a burden on our hearts to see them come to you. Let your Kingdom come here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Bless us and strengthen us to do your work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.