“Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”
How shocked the religious leaders must have been when Jesus made these statements. For them, the Temple in Jerusalem was the absolute center of God’s religious program. That was where prayers were made and where forgiveness for sin was granted. Most of the Jews living at that time were convinced that God’s saving presence was localized in the Temple. Stephen’s powerful speech recorded in Acts chapter 7 was intended to disabuse the people this thinking. In his dedicatory prayer, King Solomon asked, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” (1Kings 8:27). In Jesus of Nazareth, a new Temple Program was inaugurated. No longer are people compelled to come to a Temple made of stone and wood to address God and receive forgiveness. Now we come to Jesus, the only Mediator between God and man (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). The Temple of old contained certain pieces of furniture, each used in a precise way in a complex ritual system. Here is the supernatural wisdom of God: the Temple and its furniture, rituals, and priesthood all symbolize and foreshadow the Person and work of Jesus. The brazen altar where sacrifice was made foreshadowed the cross where the Lamb of God was slain for us (Exodus 29). The laver of water (Exodus 30:18) represented cleansing and new birth (Titus 3:5). The showbread reminds us that Jesus is the Bread of Life (Exodus 25:30; John 6:35). The candlestick pointed to Jesus, the Light of the World (Exodus 25:31; John 9:5). The altar of incense reminds us that Jesus’ prayers for us ascend to His Father on our behalf (Exodus 30:1-7; Psalm 141:2; 1 John 2:1-2). The veil into the holiest place in the Temple represented Christ’s flesh, which was marred for us (Hebrews 10:20). Christ came as God’s new and infinitely better dwelling place on the earth. Remarkably, almost unimaginably, God has chosen us to assume this role also. In the present dispensation, we are His temples, his living sanctuaries on the earth (1 Corinthians 6:19). What a spectacular, undeserved privilege this is! May we be faithful custodians and representatives of these mysteries, for Christ’s glory and the good of those He loves.
God bless you today dear saints,