Summary: We are the temple of God – His Holy Spirit lives in us. When Jesus comes into our lives, He wants to perform an Extreme Temple Makeover: Heart Edition.
EXTREME TEMPLE MAKEOVER: HEART EDITION
A pastor had had a bad week. On Sunday he was very frustrated and he began his sermon, "Everyone in this church is going to hell if they don't change their ways."
One man in the back began to laugh. So the pastor said it again louder.
The man continued to laugh. The pastor went back to him and asked him why he was laughing.
He answered, "Because I don't belong to this church!"
INTRO TO TOPIC: This morning is a significant day in the calendar of Christian events. It is one week before Easter, the weekend where we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was on this day that the Lord Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem.
In some denominational churches, they have a season called ‘Lent’ where they prepare their hearts for Easter Sunday. Although that is not necessarily a Biblical concept, we are going to prepare our hearts this Sunday morning to enter into the Easter Season.
“1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." 4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey." 6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" 10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, "Who is this?" 11 So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:1-11).
• Picture this triumphal entry! Jesus is riding into the city on a donkey.
• The people cut down palm branches and lay their clothes on the road before Him.
• The people are passionately worshipping and praising the coming of the King!
• In Luke’s Gospel, as he tells this same story, he adds: “Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen.” (Luke 19:37).
• What a joyful celebration this was – the people rejoiced in God’s goodness!
It was Palm Sunday, and the mother’s 3-year old son had to stay home from church because of strep throat. When the rest of the family got home carrying palm branches, the little boy asked what they were for. His mother explained, “People held them over Jesus’ head as he walked by.” “Wouldn’t you know it,” the boy fumed. “The one Sunday I don’t go, and Jesus shows up.”
“12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.' " 14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant 16 and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise'?” (Matthew 21:12-16).
• Notice the important connective word “Then” in verse 12 – right after Jesus came to town; He went into the temple and cleansed it.
• When did Jesus do all of the wonderful things – healing sick people and transforming lives? After He cleansed the temple!
• Jesus wants His temple – our lives – to be a house of prayer, ministry and blessing to others. But that won’t happen until we first cleanse our temples – our hearts and lives.