Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem again. As Jesus was walking around the temple, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders came to him. 28 They asked, “What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” -Mark 11:27-28
Happy Holy Monday! Now that’s not something you hear too often, “Holy Monday.” This week we are seeing each day in the light of what happened on that day in the ministry of Jesus Christ. On Sunday he rode into Jerusalem on the donkey. On Monday….
On Monday, Mark’s gospel tells us that Jesus walked into the temple and started cleaning up the place. He put a stop to the practices which were taking advantage of the poor. He stopped people in their tracks before they could hurt anyone else any more.
No wonder Jesus was questioned immediately about what authority he had to do this. “Who put you in charge?” people wanted to know. So he taught about the source of his authority, about his own rejection, about paying taxes, and about what happens after death. He taught about hypocrisy. He taught about giving. So today I am thinking about all that Jesus is teaching me.
Last year, I was especially aware of what Jesus is teaching me about mortality. It was my first Easter since I dealt with my breast cancer, which made Holy Week different somehow. Before, Jesus overcoming death was for other people. It really is true that when we are younger, death seems very far off, something that will not happen to us until much, much later. When I heard the “C” word though, my mortality became more real to me. Now I watch Jesus approach the cross and he is teaching me. He is teaching me how to approach death, which is really about how to live life! He is teaching me how to trust God completely, to control self only, to tell the truth despite the cost, and to love, love, love all people, no matter what.
This year, I’m aware even more than ever of what Jesus is teaching me about forgiveness, for others, and for myself. Lately I’ve found myself harboring grudges and guilt I’ve not been able to fully shake off. The words of Jesus from the cross, “Father, forgive them” are both challenge and comfort to my soul. Jesus is teaching me how to live free of the unforgiven sin that can weigh me down so mightily. He’s showing me how to cry out to God for forgiveness and allow God to do what I cannot, for myself and for others. In Jesus, God is stirring up new freedom for my spirit to soar as lightly as it’s ever been able.
What is Jesus teaching you this Holy Monday? Take a few moments to reflect. What has happened in your life since last Easter? What have you been learning? How are you different? Have you received an invitation to grow?
Most of all. are you giving Jesus the authority to teach you, to correct you, to lead you?