30 January 2007

The Temple

The Lord God promised David that from his lineage would come one who would build the Temple of the Lord. Before this, though, God had told David that only God could build the House of God. Which is why it is so odd that Solomon was allowed to build the temple.

But consider the temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. It was destroyed twice. Surely the House of the Lord cannot so easily be removed from this world.

Enter a man named Jesus. When asked about the Temple, he said that if it was torn down, he could undo the damage in three days' time. He was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, he rose again.

The temple was made to, among other things, make sacrifices as atonement for sins. Christ's body was sacrificed as atonement for the sins of all humanity.

As mentioned in my post "Jewish Views on the Messiah", there were two views on the Anointed One: that it would be God or that it would be a king. I state that Christ fulfilled both of these views. This is further proof of that: Jesus is man in that he is the descendant of David who could build the true Temple and he is God for the very same reason.

This post is inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who wrote, "The temple which the Jews were looking for was the Body of Christ, of which the temple of the Old Testament was but the shadow. Jesus was speaking of his human body. He knows that the temple of his earthly body will be destroyed, like the temple of Jerusalem. But he will rise again, and the new temple, the eternal temple, will be his risen and glorified body."

Rock on.

The Simple Beauty of Salvation

Ephesians 1 and 2

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is my third time (give or take) reading through Ephesians. It's an amazing letter. Every time I read it, I feel "my heart strangely warmed". One of the best parts of this letter is the first two chapters. Paul expresses salvation so simply and beautifly that I can't help but be overcome with joy.

"For it is grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast," (2:8,9).

And what does this salvation include? "In him we have redmption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding," (1:7,8).

While we were sinners, paying with our lives, seperating ourselves from God, Christ came to make us alive. When we die with Christ, we live in God, through the grace of the Cross. And in this new life, we "are no longer foreingers and aliens, but fellow citizens of God's household," (2:19).

As Bonhoeffer phrased it, "Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son....Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us."

Rock on.