Holy Week Meditations. Holy Monday: The Cleansing of the Temple.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

John 2:12-25

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Jesus-cleanses-the-temple Holy Monday 3

18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.



Why did Jesus Cleanse the Temple?

  All the Temple, including the Temple courts were made to adore and worship the Holy One, in silence, with reverence, and  fear of God, for in it was the real presence of the Lord. The temple was not made for to profit merchants and their selling of animals for sacrifice at exorbitant prices, nor for the money-changers who made great profit by changing Greek and Roman coins for Jewish currency, the only currency accepted by the priests and rulers. These traders and merchants, in complicity with the priests and rulers, were profiting from the poor, and the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem to sacrifice during the Passover. This is a great Jewish sacred celebration, to remember how the Lord preserved the lives of their ancestors with the blood of the lamb on the door posts of their houses and how miraculously, God freed them from the slavery of Egypt . The priestly class accepted, and even encouraged making the market-place of the Temple’s court for personal profit. The Temple had lost its First love, the worship and fear of the Holy One and was now in the hands of a greedy and corrupt priestly class, who oppressed the poor; the focus of the worship had changed to worldly affairs. This truly was outrageous, and what Jesus did, was to remind all those in the temple that the true worship was to the Father in His own house,“Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me,”  (Psalm 69:9). Jesus also fulfills this Malachi prophecy:

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1-5).

Jesus then declared that He is the living Temple of God. He is revealing the mystery of His incarnation, His mission of willingly giving His Holy Life for humankind. Jesus is the true Lamb of God without blemish whose precious blood cleansed us from of all our sins; by offering His precious life for our salvation, He gave us eternal life. Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple that is His body on the Cross, His resurrection and the true Worshiping of the Temple of God, the Glory of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ in the heart of every believer. Jerusalem’s Temple was finally destroyed in 70 AD, when Titus and Tiberius Julius Alexander seized the city of Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. However, the true Temple, with the worship of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ  lives now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.



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