Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the lord! Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!”
So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.
The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.
When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching.
That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city…
…It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”
Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.
Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly.
But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them. 11They were delighted when they heard why he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. (Mark 11:9-19, 14:1-14 NLT)
This is quite a week as Jesus’ completes his earthly ministry. Much walking between Jerusalem and Bethany. Lots of action, parables, accusations, healings, plots and betrayals.
- Sunday – Triumphal entry, weep over the city and scope out the temple – head to Bethany
- Monday – back to Jerusalem – cleanse the temple, teach and then head back to Bethany.
- Tuesday – dinner in Bethany at Simon’s house – or Lazarus’ house. Not sure if he went into town as well.
- Wednesday – teaching and preaching and healing – no details but likely.
- Thursday – back to Jerusalem, Passover preparations, dinner with apostles, Garden arrest, trials and beatings.
- Friday- conclusion of trials and crucifixion, death and burial.
- Saturday – quiet, disciples hiding.
- Sunday – resurrection!!!!!
What are Jesus’ deepest longings as these days unfold? He has a few days left to get a lot done – what are his priorities?
Remembering Terry’s phrase – “I feel like God is being rebirthed in me”, have you had any experiences of the birthing of God in your life this past few weeks.
What are your deepest God longings?
Prayer for Today
O Christ help us to become one with you.
In your defenceless love, teach us to offer ourselves.
In your weakness, teach us how to be accepting of life’s hits.
In your betrayal, teach us to forgive as you do.
In your extreme testing, teach us to believe like you do.
Christ, may you who walked on wounded feet, walk with us to the end of the road. May, Jesus, who serves with wounded hands stretch out our hands to be served by you and to serve others. May you, Jesus, who loves with a wounded heart open our hearts to love and be loved.