Reflections for Holy Week: The King’s Kind of Order

This reflection was originally published in the spring 2020 issue of STILLPOINT magazine: “Generation Gordon.”

By Ellie Wiener ’19 

Psalm 24 | Mark 11:9–18 

The very day after being hailed long-awaited King, making his grand entrance into Jerusalem to the acclamation of the gathering Passover crowds, Jesus came crashing into the temple courts and flipping tables.

In the ancient world, kings were responsible for establishing and maintaining order in their kingdoms. But surveying the fleeing moneychangers and toppled tables, Jesus, the gentle colt-riding King of Palm Sunday, certainly looked to be creating disorder on Monday. Not surprisingly he agitated the religious establishment, who promptly fixated on arranging his death; soon gratified, the title “King of the Jews” would crown Jesus’ cross with bitter irony on Friday, representative of his subjects’ rebellion.

Though once welcoming the King of Glory into his royal city (Psalm 24:7–10), the people were not prepared for the “clean hands” and “pure heart” he would demand of those presuming to tread upon his holy place (Psalm 24:3–4); as the King put his house in order, the extortion and deception accompanying temple transactions had to go.

Are we ready for this kind of order the King demands in our hearts and lives, deconstructing our false perceptions of “order” for cleanness of hands and purity of heart to prevail?