From Wholly Unholy to Holy, Holy, Holy

Do you see the power of Jesus? On Sunday, he marched into Jerusalem as Israel’s great king. He did so with intentionality, pomp, ceremony, style, and courage.

Do you see the sorrow of Jesus? On Sunday, he paused as he approached the city, and there he cried over the sinful condition of his nation and the woeful consequences coming over the horizon.

Do you see the anger of Jesus? On Monday, he came to the Temple. Mark recorded his assessment and attitude:

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:15-17)

According to God’s design, the Temple was to be the Father’s House. It was to be a sacred space containing holy priests, water, fire, sacrifices, furniture, candles, incense, bread, and praying worshipers. However, according to Jesus’ assessment …

  • His “Father’s House” had become a museum to the glory of King Herod and the Jewish nation.
  • His “Father’s House of Prayer” had become a shortcut, farmer’s market, bank, and den of thieves.
  • His “Father’s House of Prayer for All Nations” had become a racist club preferring those of Hebrew ethnicity.

Do you see the judgment of Jesus? Upon observing their wholly unholy worship, Jesus was consumed with righteous rage. White-hot indignation flowed from him as he “dropped the hammer.” He flexed his mighty arm and cleaned house. He fashioned a whip, turned over the tables, made a scene, drove out the bankers, outed the marketers, removed their products, closed the shortcut, and condemned Israel’s leaders.

The Judge was in the house — the One who excommunicated Adam, flooded the earth, poured out fire and brimstone, salted Lot’s wife, plagued the Egyptians, swallowed up Korah, annihilated the Canaanites, took the head off Goliath, and took the firstborn child of David and Bathsheba.

The Judge was in the house — the One who sent pigs off the cliff, caused a fig tree to wither and die, and promised the woeful destruction of Israel.

The Judge was in the house — the One who would crush the head of Satan and send the Evil One and his disciples into the Lake of Fire.

He was not tolerant towards the wholly unholy worshipers who were occupying the Father’s Holy House, and he has remained the same — yesterday, today, and forever.

Do you see the Gospel-mercy and Gospel-grace of Jesus? Why did the Son of Man come back to Jerusalem?

  • He who knew no sin and hated it with a passion … he was ready to “become sin” for his spiritual family.
  • He who was the Judge … he was ready to be judged.
  • He who was perfectly holy, holy, holy … he was ready to be declared “wholly unholy.”
  • He who was angry towards sin … he was ready to receive the condemnatory wrath of the Father.
  • He who threw down the whip … he was ready to receive the lash on his back.
  • He who communed rightly and richly with the Father … he was ready to be excommunicated.

And he was ready and willing to do so, in order that we who are “wholly unholy” might be declared “holy, holy, holy.”

Therefore, on this Monday, let us rejoice in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In our natural condition, we are not good worshipers. All we deserve is the ever-increasing, white-hot wrath of God. However …

Jesus swapped places with us. He became our surrogate or substitute.

Jesus swapped righteousness with us. His perfect worship has become our perfect worship. Our righteousness report-card reads “A+.”

Jesus swapped condemnation with us. Our deprave worship has been placed on his account and shoulders.

And for the rest of our days, we get to worship well. Without terror or timidity, we get to run into God’s presence. Because of our gifted record of righteousness, we get to ascend the holy hill of our God. Clothed in the holiness of Christ, we get to walk-in boldly to the Holy of Holies. There is no reason to keep our distance. God’s invites us to come; he commands us to come; he stands at the door knocking ready to commune with us. We are free of the stain and shame of sin. We are free of the fear of condemnation, sentence, and judgment. We are children of the Father. We are the bride of Christ. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are members of the international “House of Prayer” imagined, ordained, pursued, redeemed, and owned by God.

So, with that being said, let’s rejoice, and let’s pray!

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