Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 2 - Monday

The following account about what happened on Day 2 was compiled by my friend Janae:

Four important events happened the Monday before the Savior was crucified. First, he cursed the fig tree. Second, he cleansed the temple. Third, he healed at the temple. Last, children gathered crying "Hosanna." The following explains each of these in more detail.

After spending the night in Bethany, Jesus and his apostles walked to Jerusalem on Monday morning. As they were walking they were hungry (Matt. 21:18), and Jesus promptly found a blossoming fig tree. When he looked closer, however, he found that the tree had no fruit, only leaves. Jesus cursed the tree and it immediately withered away (Matt. 21:19). Apparently, this type of fig tree produces small fruits even before it gets leaves, so finding a tree full of leaves but no fruit meant that the tree was barren. It gave the appearance of having fruit, when in reality it would never have any (New Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, 48). The fig tree is a symbol of hypocrisy, particularly of the Jewish leaders in Jesus' day. They gave the appearance of being righteous when inwardly they were ravening wolves.

Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus and the apostles when straight to the temple. In that time period it was common for people to travel a long distance to the temple, and they were therefore unable to bring the necessary animals for their sacrifices. Shops set up outside the temple to provide currency exchange and sacrificial animals were both acceptable and necessary. Unfortunately, when Jesus arrived he found that the sellers and traders were priests who worked in the temple, and that they were lying and cheating the people to fill their own pockets (Eric D. Huntsman, “Reflections on the Savior’s Last Week,” Ensign, Apr 2009, 56). It had been three years to the week that Jesus had first cleansed the temple, and here they were again, doing the same thing (Daniel H. Ludlow, “The Greatest Week in History,” Ensign, Apr 1972, 34). He pushed over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of the dove sellers, and cast out the men involved (Mark 11:15).

Jesus spent the entire day at the temple. He healed the blind and lame who gathered there after the money changers and animal sellers were kicked out (Matt 21:14). Children also gathered at the temple, crying "Hosanna to the Son of David," a title used only to reference the Savior. This upset the chief priests and scribes, but Jesus turned to them and said, "Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" (Matt 21:15-16). After teaching all day in the temple, Jesus returned to Bethany for the night.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Hey Rebecca thanks for posting this, I will check out your blog daily during the season!