Monday of Holy Week
Scripture: Jeremiah 7:1-15 (NKJV)
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’
5 “For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, 6 if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, 7 then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
8 “Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, 10 and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the Lord.
12 “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these works,” says the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren—the whole posterity of Ephraim.”
We have arrived at Holy Week, the great week of weeks. The call of the Lord to “all you of Judah” applies to us this day, “Amend your ways and your doings.” Throughout time, the message of God to a fallen world remains unchanged, “Repent!” Through the prophet Jeremiah, God recounts the many sins of Israel: oppression, shedding of innocent blood, idolatry, theft, adultery, swearing falsely, etc. One need only look at the list of sins to see nothing has changed with regard to the sins people commit to this day.
God points to the hypocrisy of the people of Jeremiah’s day. Abominable things were done by those who claim to be God’s people, and they went to the temple claiming their actions were God-Pleasing. They had turned the Temple into “a den of thieves.” Sound familiar? When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem He found the Temple was once again a “a den of thieves.” There it was; hypocrisy in the name of God.
The irony of the Cross is that the Jesus Who had cleansed the Temple would later bear the sins of the same people who had disgraced the Temple. Upon the Cross Jesus would become a disgrace before God and man as He atoned for the sins of the world.
Hypocrisy is still found in the Church. Abominations such as women’s ordination, evolution, abortion, and homosexuality, to name a few, are claimed be God-pleasing.
Jesus paid the price for these sins, too. May God bring them repentance and continue to lead us to repent of our sins.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who amid so many adversities do fail through our own infirmities, may be restored through the Passion and intercession of Thine Only-Begotten Son. Amen.