Maps are essential for any serious Bible study. Our collection of maps are simple and they are free.
THE JERUSALEM TEMPLE – A Heart Message
The Temple and it’s sacrifices provided a stage whereby a story was told, of a Supreme sacrifice that would be paid for the sins of mankind.
Though built by Herod, Jesus called it "my father’s house." It’s grandeur was immense, it’s beauty could be seen glimmering in the sun from miles away. It housed the continuing worship of God, by the Levitical system of vicarious atonement through blood sacrifice, declaring to the world, the immensity of it’s sin, and the power of God’s grace.
The Son of God entered it’s hallowed grounds, and cleansed it of corrupt profiteering on the part of the religious leaders at the beginning of His ministry, and once again nearing it’s end, preserving it’s message of justice and mercy by the righteous and loving Creator.
The pinnacle of the temple provided a location for the devil to tempt the Lord into taking His authority prematurely, unwisely, and pridefully, against the nature and character of the Father. The courts of the gentiles provided an awe inspiring backdrop for the Messiah to teach the multitudes who gathered to experience His glory and unparalleled wisdom. The courts of the temple provided a location for a lesson on giving, as Jesus pointed out that the widow who gave 2 mites, offered more than all the wealthy put together, because it cost her more, giving all she had.
But as beautiful and holy as the Jerusalem Temple was, it was still only a building, who’s ultimate meaning was in teaching that humanity was indeed enslaved within a sinful nature, and man’s approach to God was not automatic or cost free. The Holy God had provided a means, and the temple declared that the means was through a vicarious payment for man’s sins. The Passover lambs, the scapegoats, the blood taken into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, all testified that man’s sinfulness exacted a terrible price, and the price must be paid. Yet, the writer of Hebrews realized by the Holy Spirit, that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins permanently. They were but checks, that would have to be covered by the blood in the bank account of the True Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. (Heb. 10:4)
After the unspeakable gift of Christ’s sacrifice upon a Roman cross paid for the sins of the world, the temple no longer provided that vicarious access to God. It’s veil, which separated man from the very Presence of God Himself, was miraculously torn in two, from top to bottom, declaring that the way of approach to God was no longer found inside this granite and marble structure, but now was open to all, who would enter by the sacrifice once for all given, by Jesus Christ. (Mat 27:51) The new abode of God, was each individual who accepts this sacrifice on their behalf, becomes filled with the Holy Spirit, and thus becomes a glorious individual temple of God.
As we understand the majesties of the Jerusalem Temple, we must realize that by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, we by far outshine the former temple in our value to God, who loves us, and paid the supreme price for our redemption.