Over two thousand years ago today was the Tuesday between palm Sunday, when Jesus was greeted as a hero with singing, shouting and the waving of Palm leaves, and Good Friday where they shouted crucify him and hung him on a cross. This day can be called preparation day.
It was the day when the Jews were preparing their sacrifices for the Passover. The poorer people who couldn’t afford lambs sacrificed doves and these were often purchased in Jerusalem after they had walked from the outlying villages.
On arrival at the temple they were greeted by the market traders and the money changers who had probably inflated their prices on the animals used for sacrifices, knowing that the people had no choice but to pay what they asked or they wouldn’t be able to make the Passover sacrifice. (a little bit like now when some shops are charging inflated prices due to high demand for products)
Then Jesus enters the temple. Yes, they had seen him before, in fact some of them were lining the roads shouting hosanna just 48 hours earlier. They had seen him perform miracles but this time it was different, he didn’t teach in the temple or perform miracles, at least not straight away. He unleashes his indignation at what he sees. He overturns the tables of the money changers, releasing the doves and scattering the animals. By doing this he temporarily puts a stop to the preparations being made for the Passover sacrifices and feasts.
Why did he do this? I would like to suggest two reasons:
- He didn’t like the injustice of the poor being exploited for a quick buck. Jesus teaches us to look out for those worse off than us. This is still the case today, we need to look out for the poor around us and help them in any way we can.
- Jesus knew that before this Passover over 2000 years ago they would be able to see him as the final Passover lamb, the one who had been making preparations to redeem the world once and for all.
We no longer need to prepare for the Passover as we have the assurance that Jesus came and died for us all, whether we are rich or poor, all we have to do is prepare our hearts to accept him and follow him.
So let’s not forget as we look towards Good Friday Jesus was prepared to spoil the preparations as he prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice for us his own life upon a cross.