ConclusionTHE JERUSALEM TEMPLE Ė A Heart Message
The Temple and itís 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 fatherís house." Itís grandeur was
immense, itís 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 itís
sin, and the power of Godís grace.
The Son of God entered itís 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 itís end, preserving itís 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, whoís ultimate meaning was in teaching that humanity was indeed
enslaved within a sinful nature, and manís 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 manís sins. The Passover lambs, the
scapegoats, the blood taken into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, all
testified that manís 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 Christís sacrifice upon a Roman cross paid for
the sins of the world, the temple no longer provided that vicarious access to
God. Itís 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.