The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. Mark 11:18
Listen: Mark 11
Jerusalem was a powder keg, and Jesus was the match. As Jesus entered the city, just days before the Passover, the tension could not have been higher. The Passover celebration was Israel’s national celebration of independence from foreign oppression—much like our Independence Day. National pride was high, the oppression of Rome was everywhere, and the people understood Jesus, the Messiah, to be their liberator. The people go nuts when Jesus rides into town (Mark 11:1-11). He then goes to the temple and acts like he owns the place overthrowing tables and teaching with authority (Mark 11:12-19). Jesus is a wildfire the Pharisees cannot control.
Jesus threatens everything the Pharisees have—their authority, their traditions, their prosperity and their identity. Their solution = murder.
Jesus is dangerous. And he’s still in the business of upending our personal kingdoms. Jesus challenges our authority, traditions, prosperity and identity today. He invites us to lay down our life that we might experience his. Jesus really did intend to bring about a revolution, albeit a much grander one than the one the Pharisees feared. The question laid to us is, “How will we respond when Jesus challenges our kingdoms?”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Take a moment now to offer a prayer of openness and surrender to God. As we begin the “march toward Easter,” ask God to give you a soft heart. You might pray something like this, “Dear God, I recognize that Jesus came to give his life for mine. Give me an open heart to give you any area of my life you would like to have access to, to rule as you please. You are my King, Savior and Messiah. Amen.”
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