Easter Devotional – March 23

Matthew 21:1-17

The Triumphal Entry

21 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

Say to the daughter of Zion,
Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Cleansing the Temple

12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbersden.”

14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus *said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” 17 And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

You’ll hear more about this passage on Sunday, but for now, just a few thoughts. Jesus has arrived at the holy city, Jerusalem. What Jesus sees at the temple is less than pleasing. His reaction shows us His love and zeal for His Father’s house of prayer. The state of the temple symbolizes that Israel was determined to do things on their own way. Sound familiar?

Jesus goes on to heal the lame and the blind. In Samuel we read that the lame and the blind were not welcome in the temple. Matthew tells us that Jesus is the new Temple – which is still free from the lame and the blind, but only because Jesus heals them. What a great picture of the difference between what the world has to offer as opposed to what Jesus offers…a temple that keeps people out as opposed to a Temple that accepts all and makes all people equally clean.

Prayer: Lord, as You dwell in me, challenge me when I distort Your plans and Your promises for me.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

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