"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The True Temple

On Matthew 21:1-17

What does this all mean with the Triumphal Entry and teh Cleansing of the Temple? This section is meant to set the stage for something. Jesus is entering as a king into the city. Strife with the religious leaders has started with the cleansing of the Temple. But these two events have happened in a manner we don't expect. The “Triumphal Entry” was done on a donkey, a sign of humility and peace, rather than military might as we were to expect, from the parallels with Joshua and Zechariah 14.

Jesus has come into the Temple to liberate it, but not from Roman rule, but the rule of those who have turned it into a business rather than what Solomon had intended it to be. The Temple is meant to be a place where all nations come to know and worship the Lord. Jesus liberates from more than that too:

What is the place of the Temple in redemptive history as a set up for the rest of where we are heading in the last week of Christ? When we put Jesus and the Temple together in our minds, what ought we to think about? I'd like to connect some Biblical themes that are culminating in this Holy Week.

John tells us that Jesus came to be God “tabernacling” among us. (John 1:14) Tabernacle is the pre-Temple. The Temple comes as the unmoving tabernacle.

When the Temple was built on a permanent site, the mount the temple is located on is Mount Moriah. (2 Chron 3:1) The only other place it is mentioned is the sacrifice of Isaac. (Gen 22) Abraham is told to take his son, his only son of promise, as Genesis and Romans puts it, and sacrifice him. But the Angel of the Lord, (which we know when it says Angel of the Lord that is usually pre-incarnate Christ) stays his hand. Instead a ram is substituted. Then the Temple is built, to continue that substitution, waiting for the week Christ came to cleanse the Temple.

This temple that Jesus was at was the second temple. The first was destroyed at the time of exile. The prophets had promised it would be rebuilt, greater than before as the dwelling of God among men. But when the elderly Jews saw what was built, remembering what they had known 70 years earlier they wept, (Ezra 3:12) but not from joy, but because it did not compare to the former glory of the Temple. When John was saying Jesus comes to dwell, to tabernacle, among his people he is pointing to Jesus as the Third Temple, ushering in the true fulfillment of the glory of the temple exceeding the glory of Solomon's Temple.

Jesus becomes where all nations are to come and know God, and worship Him truly. Jesus comes to be the full, perfect Temple sacrifice. Through studying this final week, we have a veil lifted to see the culmination, that Old Testament saints longed to see. Do we realize the priviledge we have in having the New Testament revelation of Jesus Christ?

When the Angel or messenger of the Lord that stayed the hand of Abraham, He himself is substituted, along the same range of mountains. This is the week of the coming of the third temple, of the culmination of everything from Abraham, to the Temple, to the prophets, to a hill on a Friday where Christ is, just as the sacrifices of Passover in the second temple occur and the passover lambs are sacrificed, then will the true Lamb be sacrificed with less ceremony and less honor, as the substitute for Isaac and for us. Here comes to His appointed time.

Abraham, Moses, the judges and the prophets longed to see what we can see the pages of the New Testament. Do we long to see it?

Matt 13:17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.


Andrew said...

do Presbyterians celebrate Holy Week in October? Or are you preparing your sermon early.

Jared Nelson said...

No, was just teaching on it in Sunday School and thought to post it.

And Presbyterians celebrate Holy Week every week. D.G. Hart once said the Presbyterian calendar is not a yearly but a weekly calendar. So we don't need to wait until holy week to talk about Holy Week.

That said, I thought about waiting and posting it then, but I would have probably forgot by then so threw it up there now.