Scripture: Mark 11:15-33:
When JESUS came to Jerusalem it’s clear He was unhappy with what He was seeing in the Temple. This was GOD’s house but it had become a commercial enterprise rather than a place for people to come and worship GOD and find healing. It had become restricted by rules that exempted the blind, the destitute, and the outcasts.
JESUS declared in uncompromising terms that, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations” (v. 17). On a wall not far from where JESUS made that declaration was a sign reminding all foreigners who tried to pass the wall would be killed and there were Temple police armed and ready to enforce this rule. For JESUS to make this strong declaration was remarkable. We can see why He angered the religious leaders of His day. The Temple was to be a place of healing and redemption for all people.
JESUS did not miss an opportunity to include those who were usually excluded. Anyone who may feel unworthy or excluded should be welcomed and discover genuine hospitality when we meet GOD’s people. Everyone should feel welcome regardless of their background or history. We should extend that welcome to all people.
There has never been a person ever born who was not created by GOD and created in GOD’s own image no matter how wicked or vile we may think they are (Genesis 1:26-27). There has never been a person ever born whom JESUS did not suffer for and die for on what we call Good Friday. There has never been a person ever born whom GOD did not offer redemption to through JESUS’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.
GOD loves all people right where we are in the midst of our sin and depravity and demonstrated His unconditional love for us by providing His own Son as atonement so that we, in the midst of our sin, would be justified before GOD, saved from the wrath of GOD, reconciled to GOD, and saved by His life (Romans 5:8-11).
Now see this incredible truth: “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self (the nature of Adam) was crucified with Him in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin (the fallen nature of Adam)” (Romans 6:5-6). And see this: “For the death that He died, He died to sin ONCE FOR ALL but the life that He lives, He lives to GOD. Even so, consider yourselves (it is a done deal) to be dead to sin (fallen nature of Adam), but alive to GOD in CHRIST JESUS” (Romans 6:10-11).
This is why I am overwhelmed in worship & why I will celebrate Easter in a big way!
JESUS is Risen . . . !