Times of reckoning; sometimes we welcome them, sometimes we dread them and sometimes we just grit our teeth and move into them, hoping for the best. We don’t travel far in our life journeys before discovering that turning away from these times is not really a long-term option. Unfinished business with ourselves, with others, or with God, remains like an open wound; visible, painful and requiring attention before it becomes septic.
Walking with Jesus through this season of Lent we find ourselves standing with Him as He gazes into the Temple in Jerusalem. Despite the joy and beauty of the Triumphal Entry, a preordained time of reckoning has arrived. Jesus is about to confront that which is abhorrent to his deity, the well-known encounter with corrupt merchants and moneychangers who have turned the Gentile Court into a “den of thieves”. There must be a moment though, before He moves, where He remarks to Himself, “Yet again?” There must be a moment, when the merchants and moneychangers spot Him and raise an eyebrow. This isn’t the first time Jesus has done this. Earlier in His ministry, three years prior (John 2:13-22), He moved among them with a “whip of cords” driving the money changers from the temple fulfilling Psalm 69:2. “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” So, He goes again, charging into them in a concert of chaotic commotion, tables and seats crashing about in His wake, boldly declaring, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer.’”
Once the House is cleansed, the blessing is immediate. Jesus begins healing the blind and lame in the midst of overwhelming praise by children, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” A reckoning transforms to blessing accompanied by praise, all in one fell swoop, so to speak.
By the Scriptures, we now know that the New Testament temple is within us, our own bodies, and dwelling amidst is the Holy Spirit of God. Be consumed by a zeal for His House, open the doors, all the temple doors, every room, invite the Spirit in to the fullest extent, cleanse the whole place, let a reckoning God run rampant. “Oh no, there go the tables and chairs, and the moneychangers and merchants too”. Let the healing begin, then prepare, prepare to embrace the fullness of the restorative blessing. But wait, not done yet, here comes my unrestrained praise: “Hosanna, Hosanna…”