11 Apr 2017

Passion Week: Day 2

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Day 2: Read Luke 20:1-18.

On Tuesday, Jesus returns to the temple and the religious leaders challenge Jesus’ authority. They question him, “Who gave you the right to do these things?” As Jesus sometimes does, he answers their question with a parable.

In the parable, he sets out to answer their question about his authority. The vineyard owner is God the Father, the tenants are the religious leaders, and Jesus is the beloved Son. Notice how he portraits the religious leaders. They abuse and beat up each person who has come for the vineyard owner. They plot and scheme against the owner. And ultimately they kill the owner’s own son. These are people who are wicked to the core, doing whatever they desire and not what should be done.

The most amazing part of this account is that even with the parable, the Pharisees and religious leaders still continued with their plan to have Jesus killed. They couldn’t see that they were proving the parable to be true. They were blind to their sin, blind to their faults and blind to the plans of God. They didn’t love God, they loved themselves.

Now, we can look at the Pharisees and religious leaders and laugh at their blindness, but you and I are also responsible for Jesus’ death. We weren’t there to accuse him or to mock him, but he died for OUR sins. Before we came to know Jesus, we were the tenants who hated the owner and wanted everything for ourselves. Our lives were set against God. But God in his infinite mercy, came and was broken so that we could be made whole again.

  1. In what ways do I live blind to my sins? What sins do I downplay or rationalize?
  2. Why is it hard to confess those sins? What am I afraid of recognizing or admitting to?
  3. How does Jesus’ death and resurrection free me to acknowledge the worst about myself?

Prayer: Crucified Lord, this week help me to remember how you sustained, in body and soul, the anger of God against the sin of the whole human race. Thank you for standing in my place, setting me free from eternal condemnation, and gaining for me God’s grace, righteousness, and eternal life. Amen. (from Seeking God’s Face)

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