We know that Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We also know that He and those traveling with him did not spend the night in Jerusalem. We know this because both Matthew and Mark tell us the story of the Fig Tree.
Scripture tells us that on the way back into the city from Bethany, where Jesus and the twelve spent the night, Jesus became hungry. Seeing a fig tree with no fruit on it, though it was full of leaves and thus should have been full of fruit, Jesus spoke a curse on the tree. (More on the fig tree tomorrow).
We also know that Christ entered the Temple Mound and was repulsed by what he found. It was a market place filled with those buying and selling. Money was exchanging hands. His actions of overturning the tables and driving out those making a profit off of the people who came to worship the Lord gave those who feared His influence the evidence needed to go after Him.
Sunday’s entrance amidst the praise of the crowds that gathered and Monday’s defiance display put into motion the beginning of the end, the inevitable journey to the cross. His was the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation and the forgiveness of sin. Not just the sins that came before, but sins that had not yet been committed. Forgiveness for all forever.
On the National Front, today is National Cheese Fondue Day. I think this is only fitting during Holy Week for two reasons. First of all, Fondue is a communal experience. Gathering as a community and the satisfaction of fellowship is key to the faithful. So a Fondue Party is simply an extension of the communal sharing.
Secondly, Cheese Fondue is a delicious way of removing Leven Bread from our homes. Now before you get upset, I’m not suggesting that a Fondue Party is a way of fulfilling the cleansing rituals prior to Passover. Believe me, it’s not even close. As Christians we are free to use up the bread in our homes any way we see fit. This is a great way to use up stale French Bread.
Cognac Cheese Fondue
2 French Baguettes,
1/4 pound Emmental Cheese
1/4 pound Gruyère Cheese
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Garlic Clove
1 cup Riesling Wine
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Cut bread into bite-sized cubes, divide into bowls and set aside. Roughly cut the cheeses into small chunks. Set aside. Combine the cornstarch and Brandy to create a slurry. Set aside.
Peel the garlic clove and cut it in half. Rub the inside of a heatproof fondue pot with the cut garlic,
Place the pot over medium-low heat, warm the wine and bring it to a gentle simmer. Do not allow wine to heat to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch-cognac slurry until combined.
Add the cheese a handful or so at a time, stirring until it’s melted before adding more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust the consistency of the cheese sauce with more warmed wine if it becomes too thick.
Place the fondue pot on its stand over its heat source to keep the cheese warm and fluid.
Serve bread cubes with skewers or long fondue forks for dipping into the fondue.
Enjoy with a glass of wine or brandy cocktail.