Approaching Easter

Meditations for Holy Week, from Matthew’s Gospel.

As we approach Easter, you may appreciate some readings on Jesus’ final week: Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday.

If you can only do one, try the first one, Two Powers. It surveys Matthew 21–28 from a fresh angle: the conflict between temple and king.

These two powers, both anointed by God, were often in conflict in ancient Israel. After the exile, God restored the temple but not the kingship. This disparity was the main theme of the prophet Zechariah: two olive branches (Joshua and Zerubbabel), with the high priest wearing the crown until the king finally rides in on a donkey. Then the shepherd is struck down, before God’s reign is restored to all the earth. Several times Jesus quotes Zechariah to explain what’s happening to him. Holy week makes brilliant sense from this perspective: it’s all about people rejecting God’s authority, and how he rescues the world in the Son he raises up.

If you want more, choose what’s relevant for you from these posts on Jesus’ final week according to Matthew’s Gospel:

Scripture Title
Mat 21 – 28 Two powers (Matthew 21–28)
Mat 21:1-9 The king who comes in peace (Matthew 21:1-9)
Mat 21:6-9 Hosanna: the king who saves his realm (Matthew 21:6-9)
Mat 21:10-11 Who’s this? (Matthew 21:10-11)
Mat 21:12-13 Why did Jesus overturn the temple? (Matthew 21:12-13)
Mat 21:14-16 Defective and immature people in God’s house? (Matthew 21:14-16)
Mat 21:16 Jesus in the Psalms? (Psalm 8)
Mat 21:16 How majestic! (Psalm 8)
Mat 21:17-22 The end of unfruitfulness (Matthew 21 :17-22)
Mat 21:23-27 Who’s in charge? (Matthew 21:23-27)
Mat 21:28-32 Who’s the obedient son? (Matthew 21:28-32)
Mat 21:33-44 Tenants in God’s vineyard (Matthew 21:33-44)
Mat 21:40-46 Is Israel God’s kingdom today? (Matthew 21:40-46)
Mat 22:1-7 The wedding of the king’s son (Matthew 22:1-7)
Mat 22:8-14 Called or chosen? (Matthew 22:8-14)
Mat 22:15-18 Personal identity and social influence (Matthew 22:15-18)
Mat 22:21 Should Christians pay tax?
Mat 22:23-33 Can there be a resurrection when our relationships are so messy? (Matthew 22:23-33)
Mat 22:31-32 The God who raises the dead (Matthew 22:31-32)
Mat 22:34-40 Loving God and people (Matthew 22:34-40)
Mat 22:41-46 David’s Lord (Matthew 22:41-46)
Mat 22:44 Three decrees that gave Christ authority (Psalm 110)
Mat 23 Woe there: how did Jesus treat his enemies? (Matthew 23)
Mat 23:1-12 Leadership is supporting people, not social climbing (Matthew 23:1-12)
Mat 23:13-32 Why did Jesus shame Jerusalem’s leaders? (Matthew 23:13-39)
Mat 23:25-39 The power of life and death (Matthew 23:25-39)
Mat 24 Olivet Discourse: temple and kingship (Matthew 24)
Mat 24:1-14 The end: where are we headed? (Matthew 24:1-14)
Mat 24:6-41 Jesus on war: pacifism, or just war?
Mat 24:9-30 The tribulation and Jesus’ kingship (Matthew 24:9-30)
Mat 24:15-28 The fall of the Jerusalem temple (Matthew 24:15-28)
Mat 24:23-25 Messiahs and their prophets (Matthew 24:23-25)
Mat 24:26-27 The coming of the son of man (Matthew 24:26-27)
Mat 24:29 Shaking the powers (Matthew 24:29)
Mat 24:30 Coming with the clouds (Matthew 24:30)
Mat 24:30-31 Why are the people of earth mourning? (Matthew 24:30-31)
Mat 24:32-35 Fig trees and seasonal change (Matthew 24:32-35)
Mat 24:36 Why we can’t know when (Matthew 24:36)
Mat 24:37-41 One taken; one left (Matthew 24:37-41)
Mat 24:42-47 Coming like a thief (Matthew 24:42-47)
Mat 24:45-51 Serving in God’s house (Matthew 24:45-51)
Mat 25:1-13 Missing the wedding (Matthew 25:1-13)
Mat 25:14-30 The joy of serving (Matthew 25:14-30)
Mat 25:31-33 The king who sorts it out (Matthew 25:31-33)
Mat 25:34-46 How the king evaluates his people (Matthew 25:34-46)
Mat 25:40 Who are “my brothers?” (Matthew 25:40)
Mat 25:45 Refugees
Mat 26:1-5 Why did Jesus die? (Matthew 26:1-5)
Mat 26:6-13 The unexpected gift (Matthew 26:4-13)
Mat 26:14-16 Giving up your king (Matthew 26:14-16)
Mat 26:17-29 My blood of the covenant (Matthew 26:28)
Mat 26:20-29 Identity in community
Mat 26:29-31 With you in my Father’s kingdom (Matthew 26:29)
Mat 26:30 What did Jesus sing? (Matthew 26:30)
Mat 26:31 Strike the shepherd (Zechariah 13:7-9)
Mat 26:31-35 Unjustly struck down (Matthew 26:31-35)
Mat 26:36-46 Dark night without answers (Matthew 26:36-46)+
Mat 26:47-56 Why did Jesus have to die? (Matthew 26:47-56)
Mat 26:57-68 “Tell us if you are the anointed ruler” (Matthew 26:57–68)
Mat 26:59-66 Why was Jesus accused of blasphemy? (Matthew 26:59–66)
Mat 26:69-75 When the last man falls (Matthew 26:69-75)
Mat 27:1-9 Thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13)
Mat 27:1-10 What is Christ worth? (Matthew 27:1-10)
Mat 27:11-14 Are you the king of the Jews? (Matthew 27:11–14)
Mat 27:15-26 Which Jesus do you want? (Matthew 27:15–26)
Mat 27:27-31 What the mocking reveals (Matthew 27:27–31)
Mat 27:32-44 The meaning of the cross (Matthew 27:32–44)
Mat 27:45-51 Jesus’ dying question: Why have you abandoned me? (Matthew 27:45–51)
Mat 27:51-54 The death that shook the world (Matthew 27:51-54)
Mat 27:55-66 Guarding the dead (Matthew 27:55–66)
Mat 28:1-10 Risen and reigning (Matthew 28:1-10)
Mat 28:11-15 But his enemies are still here (Matthew 28:11-15)
Mat 28:16-20 Our king’s great commission (Matthew 28:16–20)
Mat 28:17-20 The church’s role: public servants
Mat 28:17-20 Society on the couch
Mat 28:18-20 Great authority for a great commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

Author: Allen Browne

Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Riverview Church, Perth, Western Australia

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