Monday, March 26, 2018

Lenten Season, 2018: Holy Week, Holy Monday, March 26/18

New Beginnings: See?  I Am Doing a New Thing!—God

For our 2018 Lenten journey we are continuing to explore our 2017 Advent theme, “New Beginnings: See?  I Am Doing a New Thing!—God.”  We have looked at the meaning of Lent, Shrove Tuesday, and Ash Wednesday. In addition we have thought about some aspects of our Christian walk, such as Reflection, Repentance, Rebirth, Refresh/Refreshing, and Renewal. Yesterday, Palm Sunday, we examined the Rejoicing (great joy or jubilation) of the crowds as Christ entered into Jerusalem. And now we shift our attention from our Christian pathway to trace Christ’s steps during His final week that lead to His crucifixion.

Holy Week 2018  Holy Monday, Mar. 26/3
               One of the most popular vacations for Christians is a trip to the Holy Land.  Many companies and individuals organize annual trips, taking groups of people to see Israel, Palestine, and Jordan—to follow the marked out steps of Jesus’ travels, His ministry, and His Passion. Christ’s Passion focuses on His final week on earth, from the time of His entrance into Jerusalem (known as “Palm Sunday”) and to the events that led to His crucifixion on Calvary, which is the incident that is central to the Christian doctrine of Salvation.                                                                                   
             Palm Sunday held so much hope for the Jews. They had been waiting for generations for the promised Messiah. And so, as Jesus entered the Holy City on a colt, the people rushed to ‘roll out the red carpet’ for Him. They laid their coats and palm branches on the ground and hailed Him in a manner fit for a King. However, as we continue our examination of Holy Week we will discover how fickle the people were when Jesus didn’t rise to the occasion. In other words, they wanted to make Christ king, because they didn’t understand that He already was King, ruling in a Kingdom not of this earth. They began to realize that their hopes and dreams were dashed, because the Messiah didn’t seem to share their agenda--to conquer Rome, restore His people and rule over them on earth. Plus, the disciples didn’t grasp Jesus’ mission, even though He had explained it to them at least a couple of times. Thus, the crowds (many of whom had witnessed Christ’s miracles, including raising Lazarus from the dead), and the disciples apparently shared a similar vision of Messiah. 
         But what happened after this grand “Parade of Nations”?  While Matthew (21:1), Mark (11:1), and Luke (19:29) include information re: Jesus sending a couple of disciples to get the colt that He needed, John (12:12) does not, but they all include Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. There are also seem to be discrepancies* regarding when Jesus cleansed the Temple—was it on Sunday or Monday? Matthew (21:12) and Luke (19:45) agree that it was on Sunday, while Mark (11:15) says this happened the next day. In addition, Luke notes that Jesus was teaching daily in the Temple (19:47).                                                                    Two other events that occurred were: 1) Jesus cursed a fig tree on the way into Jerusalem; because He was hungry, and it had no fruit on it; and, 2) He wept over Jerusalem. And again, in the evening Jesus and the 12 disciples returned to Bethany for the night.
         *I discovered a possible explanation for the differences in the account of when the Temple was cleansed, for the second time in Jesus’ ministry:
         <<First Century Jewish day/night cycles [were from] sundown to sundown. Notice that slaying of the lambs "between the evenings" on Nisan 14 would in this case happen on Friday afternoon (which is when, according to John 18:28, the Jewish authorities intended to keep the feast).
         Another way that time was measured was counting the day/night cycles very possibly in popular usage among the Galilean Jews—sunup to sunup. Notice that slaying of the lambs "between the evenings" on Nisan 14 would in this case happen on Thursday afternoon (which is when Jesus and His disciples kept the feast).>>

Information courtesy of Dr. Doug Bookman of bookman ministries
Suggested Scripture Passage:
Matthew 21: 12-22 ; Mark 11: 12-26; Luke 19:45-48

Blessings & Peace

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk                                                                        
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor) Canada

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