Jesus and Spring Cleaning: Passover Greetings - הג פסח שמח
One of the biblical stories that is not usually linked to Passover is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 2. Right near the beginning of Yeshua's (Jesus) ministry, and half way through the chapter is the story of the 'cleansing the temple' - when He braided some rope together into a whip and started driving out all the merchants and money changers, rebuking them for making God's house a market place. At face value, the anecdote can seem confusing and contrary to what we have come to expect from a Jesus 'meek and mild', 'loving and kind', 'forgiving and self-sacrificing'. How many other times had Yeshua gone to the temple and seen all the busyness of buying and selling and money laundering? If he was a good, practising Jew, he would have visited the temple in Jerusalem several times in the year, as commanded in the law, in honour of the most holy Feasts of the Lord. Why then did he not clean everyone out during one of His other visits?
Perhaps a clue is in an important piece of information that John, the writer, shares with us in verse 13 as he prefaces the occasion: "The Jewish Passover was near and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem". The time of Passover was coming, the time to clean the house of all the yeast/leaven, to have a fresh start and make everything new. By having a small understanding of the Jewish roots of Jesus' culture, it begins to make sense that at a time when families were cleaning their homes, preparing for a fresh clean start and to receive new things, Yeshua understood that a spiritual cleansing of His Father's spiritual home was not only necessary, but that it was a family duty to carry out. Suddenly, His mission to drive out the merchants wasn't some arbitrary rampage that overwhelmed him, but an appointed act at an appointed time for an appointed purpose.
As we also are at a time when 'Passover is coming', perhaps it is a good opportunity to take time to do some spiritual spring cleaning, to cleanse the temple of our hearts, minds and bodies, and to have a fresh clean start - an appointed act, at this appointed time, for an appointed purpose as we draw near to our God at the time of Passover, the time when He provided Yeshua as the sacrificial lamb, so He can draw near to us.