Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey, just as David and Solomon had done before him. He came in peace, but he was clear about who he was: the Lord, the King and the Messiah. It was a dramatic entrance, and the people shouted, “Hosanna”, meaning, “Save us now!” as they welcomed him.
And then immediately, he sets to work overturning tables in the temple, driving out money changers and merchants. John’s Gospel records that he made a whip out of cords and whipped them out of the place. It is hard to imagine the uproar this would have caused!
When Jesus comes into a place, he does not leave it as he found it. When he comes into a life, he does not leave it as it was. If we invite Jesus into our lives, we should expect change, expulsion of undesirable things – an uproar! This is as true for those who have been Christians for years as it is for those who are accepting Jesus for the first time. As we submit ourselves to the Lord, and invite him further and deeper into our lives, we should expect him to turn over tables and throw out the trash.
No doubt the people were somewhat unsettled at Jesus’ actions, and we can find his work in our lives unsettling too, but he requires us to be purified and cleansed, just as he purified and cleansed the temple. If we are not prepared to submit to his cleansing, we may as well not invite him in at all.
Jesus left that temple a much better place than he found it. When he works within us to purify and cleanse, we are much better at the end than we were at the beginning. The process may be radical, but the end result is revival! Hosanna, Jesus – save us now!