Journey to the Empty Tomb…Tuesday

Matthew 21:21-22

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Matthew 22:37-40

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 26:10-13

10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Tuesday was a busy day for Jesus. He begins by teaching about faith as the disciples see the withered fig tree. Then He goes into the temple where the Pharisees seek to undermine His authority and teaching. He speaks on the second coming, giving, and hypocrisy among many other things. The day ends in Bethany again at Simon the Lepers house where the woman comes with her alabaster box and anoints Him in adoration and worship.

There is too much truth packed into these verses to eat it all in one bite, but I think we can take a couple of them and ask the Lord to continue to prepare our hearts as we Journey to the Empty Tomb. When we are faced with the truths of scripture we should find ourselves at a crisis moment. We can respond and be transformed, or we can ignore and remain the same. There are three areas that stand out to me today that, if we respond to them, will help transform our hearts as we grow in our relationship with Christ; Faith, Love, and Worship.

When the disciples saw the withered fig tree they were amazed. Jesus takes this opportunity to teach them what faith is capable of. He tells them that the faith of a mustard seed is enough to see God work in powerful ways as we reach out to Him in prayer. There are two reason we do not see the miraculous in our lives. One is we do not take the time to pray in faith. Scripture tells us we can come boldly before His throne, but too many times we are content to remain in the courtyard. The second is we write God’s miracles off as coincidence. The disciples did not say, “Wow, would you look at that! Jesus just said that this tree would be cursed and today it is withered! What a crazy coincidence!” William Temple, when critics wrote his answered prayers off as coincidences said, ““When I pray, coincidences happen; when I don’t, they don’t.” Jesus is tells that we need to Pray Faithfully!

When the Lawyer came up to Christ and asked which commandment was the most important. Jesus’ answer revealed God’s heart to us in regard to the Law. He taught them that to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Deut 6:5) and love our neighbor as ourselves (Lev 19:18) were the greatest since they sum up the entire law. If we love God supremely, we will not take His name in vain, turn to idols or neglect worship of Him. If we love our neighbor we will not steal, kill or covet. Christ is calling us love God Obediently!

Then, when the woman came and made her costly offering by anointing Christ, she shows us what our worship should like like. We want to make worship into an emotional experience  rather than a volitional sacrifice. As she poured out her worship on Jesus, she did not think of the cost, consider it a waste or care what others thought. She knew the price that Jesus was about to pay – and this moved her to Worship Extravagantly!

Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ, let us respond to His truth and allow it to transform us as we pray faithfully, love obediently and worship extravagantly. If we wish to prepare to celebrate the resurrection this Sunday, we will take some time this week and ask the Spirit to reveal any hypocritical tendency and change us as we Journey to the Empty Tomb.

To learn more about the Tuesday of Passion week read Matthew 21:18-26:16, Mark 11:20-14:11 and Luke 20:1-22:6.