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April 11, 2022
March 21, 2024

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

“Something draws Him. It gives speed
To His pace as the disciples hasten and
Weave across the ancient stone streets
Where David danced as the ark of
The covenant came home, and the
Temple was made for the ark to rest.
Jesus beholds His Father’s house,
The meeting place between God and man,
Where a veil hangs and hides the holiness
Of an unyieldingly pure God who cannot
Let sin enter His presence and live.
Jesus enters the temple
To the groaning of nervous cattle
And the smell of burnt offerings
As a hush falls upon the crowd
Who crane their necks to see Him
Standing there, taking it all in.
He was there when David danced.
He watched while the temple was made.
He grieved when the temple was torn down
And the Babylonians broke Israel’s back.
He remembers it took Herod forty-six years
To rebuild this temple on the ruins and
In the shadow of its former glory,
As the prayerless house of God played
Host to idols and became a house of trade.

In view of what this place has become,
He clenches His fists and takes
A heavy breath.
The crowd’s silence breaks
With the crack of a whip.
He drives the people out
Like sheep without a shepherd from
Dens of wolves and robbers.
They wince and hide their faces as the
Bitter sound of breaking wood and
Clink of coins batter the ground.
Zeal for His Father’s house consumes Him,
But compassion mingles with grief in His heart.
The disciples look on in fear.
The temple is cleansed—
But He’s not finished yet.” (Jake Riddle, “Jesus Cleanses the Temple,” Words for Spring)

This Holy Week, as you contemplate the death and resurrection of Jesus our King, engage with Jesus’ last days in a fresh way through the book Words for Spring. The book’s collection of worshipful prayers and poems highlights everyday moments of spring, milestones of Holy Week, and contemplations of select events and people associated with Jesus’ ministry. Each prayer and poem aims to help people worship God in the everyday moments of springtime, to journey alongside people wherever they are, whether that’s a season of waiting, confusion, grief, or joy, and to invite people to know God more deeply.

Purchase your copy of Words for Spring by clicking here.

Article Details

Jake Riddle
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Austin Stone Institute
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