Holy TuesdayGood Friday always has this heaviness, but of a very unique kind. It is incredibly somber but with tangible hope and gratefulness mixed in. The crucifixion is the pinnacle of injustice, with a perfectly innocent man suffering the most horrific form of execution. It must be so. Because the punishment must be fitting for even the worst imaginable crime, yet entirely undeserved so it can be applied as a substitution for others. We are all covered by Jesus’ sacrifice, no matter how far we fall short. And so, mixed with the weight of our sin, we feel the weight of the love that led God to give His perfect Son for us. Holy Week is weighty in an entirely different way. We are confronted by the seriousness of our inaction, lethargy, unfruitfulness, and sin. No one is exempt from these failures, and we are all left to consider the consequences of our unrighteousness for days at a time, with the relief of salvation still a little ways off. On Holy Monday, we see Jesus turn over the money tables and curse the fig tree for failing to produce fruit. On Holy Tuesday, He defends His authority against a barrage of tests from the religious leaders, but in such a way that we too cannot help but feel indicted. After much confrontation, Jesus laments the lack of belief in Jerusalem, the city He loves. This statement sums up the spirit of the day, “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.” We should be left questioning our own responsiveness to Jesus’ work in our lives, asking if we have done enough. It is ok to wrestle for a while without reprieve. We know what is coming on Good Friday, and the relief will be sweeter if we do the work now to freshly grasp the seriousness of being unable to justify ourselves.PrayLord Jesus, I need You. In these parables, I see glimpses of myself. Failing to produce fruit, while growing leaves that proclaim the presence of Your Kingdom. Saying, “Yes” and then failing to follow through. Refusing to give back after being entrusted with so much. Failing to respond to an invitation I don’t even deserve to receive. I am not exempt from your wrath. I may see progress and growth. I may see some of the fruit of Heaven in my life. But it could never be enough. I need grace. I need a better righteousness than I can cultivate on my own. I need your sacrifice. Let me feel the weight of my need for You today. I want to feel this overflowing gratefulness–the rightful response for what You have done for me. I am willing to feel the weight of my neediness. Make me ready to receive more of You than ever before. Help me to do the work necessary to grow ever more fruitful. Amen.ReadMatthew 21:28-46; Matthew 22 & 23