There is this bit in the bible where Jesus walks into the temple,
God’s scared space, and he loses it with the temple sellers.
He really goes for launch,
tables go flying,
there’s a whip,
I’m pretty sure the words he uses aren’t quiet and calm.
…. can you imagine the awkward pause afterwards?
The thing is these temple sellers were making big money from poor people. People had to have the right kind of sacrifice to bring – perfect – and unless you were in the business of doves or lambs you didn’t have the goods….
enter the entrepreneurs – we have the perfect dove right here and you can make the right sacrifices for the right money
All of a sudden coming to bring a sacrifice became an opportunity for some people to make money….
some people were being denied access because they didn’t have enough
suddenly there was a roadblock
…. and the cross stops it right in it’s tracks …
the enormous curtain torn from top to bottom,
suddenly entry to the temple isn’t just free,
entry to the holiest place where only the most purified can go,
entry to that place – is open
the walls are broken down and the access is clear
there is no longer any criteria because no one could meet the criteria
and so we see how it breaks God’s heart, it causes Jesus to make a public spectacle, this thing of making it hard for people to get in.
All around the world we observe people who are denied – education, water, health care, rights, faith…. and we cannot say that doesn’t matter to God.
Jesus died to give us access, to invite us to boldly approach the Throne of Grace
What in my life makes it hard for people to find The Way?
Do I hold onto a faith that subtly agrees with buying/earning/working my way in to the Holy Place?
We are all justified because none of us can be self-justified – that is the cross. We cannot come in without the cross that says all were denied and now all are welcome.
In the journey to the cross I must shut my eyes and ears to the voices of the ones who try to sell me the way in and accept the rugged, blood stained, difficult walk to the foot of a messy cross that offers salvation that cannot be bought or sold.
Too expensive for me to ever purchase, and yet free.
Limping on to Good Friday, one overwhelming step at a time.
Hebrews 4v16 So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.