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Welcome, But Please Do Not Touch

03 March 2024

An ornate arched wooden door with a stone surround. The wooden door is open.

At this time of year, we remember the Passion and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. He is ALIVE! These events begin with Jesus' Triumphant Entry (Mark 11:7-10). Everything about God's redemptive plan for us is triumphant! 


Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!" Mark 11:9-10 (NASB).


In this scene, we see Jesus atop a donkey's colt entering Jerusalem with crowds rejoicing and lifting their voices in praise to God. In the Old Covenant, the prophet Zechariah spoke this out 500 years before the disciples brought the colt to Jesus (Zechariah 9:9). In Luke's account, Jesus said that if the people did not rejoice, even rocks would cry out "Hosanna!" (Luke 19:40). We remember this as Palm Sunday. All the people rejoiced as they welcomed Jesus into the city. However, not long after His entry, the crowd's voice changed, and the cheering stopped. Why? Because when Jesus came in, He made changes. 


Welcoming Jesus into our life is a time of rejoicing (Luke 15:7). Like everyone who rejoiced as Christ entered Jerusalem - we can expect Him to make everything new (Isaiah 43:19, Revelation 21:5). All the people of Jerusalem rejoiced at the idea of what this "new" would mean - but, without a doubt, they believed Jesus would overthrow the corrupt government and drive out the Romans. But that is not what happened. 


"Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves" Mark 11:15 (NASB).


Instead of driving Rome out of the capital - Jesus went into the temple and overthrew the money changers and those who sold doves. He said, "Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers' den" (Mark 11:17, NASB). Quoting from Isaiah and Jeremiah, Jesus brought the focus of temple worship back from the business of sacrifices to the worship and communion with Him (Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11). The purpose of the temple was not ritual observance of Levitical law but service to the Living God. The crowd's reaction to this was shock and astonishment, and the religious leaders began looking for a way to kill Him (Mark 11:18). 


The story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and His actions in the temple illustrates transformation and renewal and invites us to consider the personal implications of inviting Jesus into our lives. Jesus can bring transformation and make all things new, but this often requires us to let go of old ways that don't align with His purpose. As seen in the shock of the crowd and the anger of the religious leaders, giving Jesus full access to our lives will mean some things are driven out and others seemingly turned upside down. However, this process of upheaval and renewal draws us closer to the Lord and His purpose for our lives in service and communion with Him. As we reflect on Palm Sunday and the cleansing of the temple, let's be open to the transformative power of Christ in every aspect of our lives.


I want to ask you a question. Are there areas in your life that you prefer Jesus not touch? Are we ready to welcome Him to go everywhere in us, in our thought-life, finances, pleasure, motives, plans, assumptions, and turn over tables and drive out anything distracting our focus from His purpose?

Photo of Matt Hattabaugh

Matt Hattabaugh
Lead Pastor
GoChurch Beirut