Temple 3

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.                                                                                                          1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.                                     Ephesians 3:17-18 NLT

In the previous two installments, I was exploring the prominence of the Temple (including the Tabernacle) in the Old Testament. It is all over the place, showing how precious to God was the idea of living right among his people. But the Old Testament regularly uses physical things to express spiritual truth. And that is true about the Temple. Is a beautiful palace all that important to the King of Kings? Hardly! We see that in his readiness to tear the place down if it does not reflect the condition of his peoples’ hearts.

So, why so much attention to the Temple in the Old Testament? To get us ready for what God really wants. He does not merely want to live with us. He wants to live in us! He wants to take up residence in the purest, most costly residence imaginable: a heart made holy by the blood of Christ. This is where the whole Book is headed. What is salvation? It is the Father living in us through the Holy Spirit because of Christ. It works both ways; on the one hand Jesus is the temple in which we live (Eph 2:20-22), but on the other we are the Temple in which the Trinity lives. The point is that God wants to come home. He wants to reverse the results of Genesis 3.

That is where Ezekiel 40-45 are pointing. They are not describing a physical Temple, but are using physical language to lay out the spiritual reality. There will be no Temple in the New Jerusalem because God will live in us and we in him. That’s the end toward which the whole Book is taking us. Is that true in your life today? It can be!

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