We’ve just finished praying through Exodus in the Old Testament. And since it is the week, when we remember Jesus going to the cross dying, rising from the dead. Easter week, holy week, obviously something we remember every day, we will remember every day for all of eternity. We will remember, reflect on, rejoice in the salvation Jesus made possible for us at the cross and in his resurrection. But I thought it would be helpful for this Pray, the word episodes during this week, starting on this Tuesday. Just to walk the journey to the cross with Jesus in the gospels and to pray accordingly. So on this Tuesday, I want to lead us to pray according to Mark 11:27 and 28. So just to set the stage chronologically for how that week unfolded on Saturday before that week, Jesus, as best as we can tell arrived in Bethany that day, where he had dinner with Lazarus and Mary and Martha.
Nothing that is happening during holy week is all ultimately outside of the sovereignty of Jesus.
And [Mary], anointed his feet with oil and then on Sunday, as best as we can tell, he arrived into the city Palm Sunday and the crowds shouted Hosanna, blessed to see who comes in the name of the Lord. Then on Monday is the day when Jesus likely cleansed the temple. When he overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves and he cried out, “It’s not my house intended to be a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers.” And that then sets the stage for Tuesday, when Mark 11:27 and 28 tells us, and they came again to Jerusalem and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things or who gave you this authority to do them?”
That was the critical question that these religious leaders were wanting to know, who gave Jesus authority to overturn the tables and the temple and to cry out, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Who gave Jesus authority to say the things he was saying, to do the things he was doing? And I want to lead us to pray according to that verse, because at the beginning of this week, as we think about what’s about to unfold as Jesus is going to be betrayed and falsely tried and accused and mocked and beaten and scourged and spit upon and then nailed to a cross. To know from the very beginning that Jesus does all of this with sovereign authority in his hands. I think about the way he describes it in the Gospel of John, I have authority to lay my life down and I have authority to pick it up again.
In other words, nothing that is happening during holy week is all ultimately outside of Jesus, sovereign authority. He is not having his life taken from him ultimately, he is giving his life for sinners like you and me. And so in a world of sin and evil that you and I are a part of and we’re surrounded by, isn’t it good to know, at every single moment that Jesus has all authority. This is exactly what he said after he rose from the dead and prepared to send in to heaven. The very beginning of the great commission, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” So we pray, Jesus we exalt you as the Lord overall today. We praise you for your Lordship, for your authority during this week. A couple of 1000 years ago, when sinful people sought to betray you and murder you, that you were ultimately in control.
That even today in a world of sin and evil, you are ultimately in control and in a world of pandemic, in a world of sorrow and a world of hurt and pain and in a world of so many questions. We wonder why is this happening or why is that happening? In a world of injustice, Jesus we praise you that you are just, we praise you that you are sovereign. We praise you that you have all authority in heaven and on earth, we praise you that you love us with that authority so much that you chose to lay down your life for us. Yes, this week and yes, every day we celebrate your loving authority in our lives. And we submit to your authority today. We turn our hearts and our minds towards you right now and in prayer and we say, Jesus, you are Lord. You are Lord over all and you are Lord over our lives. And we trust in you.
Amidst all the things that are going on in our lives, even some things we don’t understand, struggles that we’re walking through, Jesus, we praise you. That you are Lord over it all. You’re Lord over us. You’re leading us, you’re guiding us and one day by your loving authority, this world will be no more as it is. There will be a new heaven and a new earth and sin and sorrow and suffering will be gone. We praise you for your authority, that makes that promise a guarantee. We love you, Jesus. We praise you for your authority and we pray all of this in your name at the beginning of this Holy week. Amen.