By: Pastor David
In Matthew 21, Jesus makes His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. In Matthew’s account, we follow Jesus as he rides into the city on a donkey’s colt, then immediately enters the Temple courtyard, where He throws out the moneychangers and the men selling animals for sacrifice. It’s a wild, dramatic scene; verse ten tells us that Jesus’ arrival put the whole city in an uproar.
What follows is a poignant celebration of Jesus’ grace. Having cleared the corrupting presence of these moneychangers and salesmen out of the Temple, he then receives many of the ‘down-and- outers’ of the city – the blind, the sick – and
heals them, right there in the Temple courtyard. The reaction of the crowd is quick and immediate. In verse 15, we’re told that even the children in the Temple courtyard are shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Having seen the goodness of Jesus, the crowd celebrates by crying out their joy for everyone to hear: the long night has ended, and the promised light has shone (Matthew 4:16).
Similarly, when we meet together for worship, we are recipients and witnesses of the grace of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when we meet, after being called to worship and confessing our sin together, we turn our spiritual eyes upon the sight of our liberator, Messiah, and king, Jesus Christ, crucified on our behalf. This is grace reduced to its essence: the crimson spatter of blood on Calvary-stones, dripping from the veins of the only begotten Son of God. That blood is healing, it is life, it is peace.
The people of Jerusalem shouted ‘til they were hoarse at their own glimpse of Jesus’ grace, but we have not only looked at the cross, we’ve experienced its benefit – forgiveness of sin, union with Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is what stirs us to be about the worship of Jesus as individual disciples. But it is also what drives us to worship together as a church family every Sunday.
Corporate worship is a moment of great gravity, reflection, and joy for the body of Christ. If we have repented and put our faith in Him, He has entered the proverbial temples of our bodies, clearing away the corruption and cleansing us of the stain of sin. And that’s worth celebrating, every moment of every day.