The invitation of Holy Week isn't only to read the story, but to experience it.
Yesterday, we entered into the timeline of Holy Week with Palm Sunday as Jesus entered Jerusalem one week before His resurrection.
What was Jesus doing today? Just days before he would hang on a cross?
Thankfully, Mark's gospel gives us an account of what this week was like for Jesus. Our invitation to you is to follow along in Mark with Jesus' week and reflect on His journey to the resurrection.
So, here's what Jesus' Monday before easter looked like:
Mark 11:12-19New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts
12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’[a]? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’[b]”
18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples[c] went out of the city.
Jesus spent his Monday cleansing the temple and pointing out that he has an issue with the current spiritual state of his people.
A fig tree is used in the Bible as a symbol of Israel, or even deeper perhaps a symbol of the spiritual leaders of Israel. Jesus was critical that the temple wasn't producing fruit. Rather, it was a place of greed where people could profit off of religion.
It was on this day that Jesus stood with boldness, did not give into fear, and called out fruitless religion. It's no wonder people hated him. He wasn't afraid to call His people to turn from greed and produce fruit again.
As we read, pray and reflect, may we be people that produce the fruit in keeping with repentance. May the spirit in our lives give us His fruits oflove, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. May we turn from any areas where we use religion to feed our selfish desires.