Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Destruction Of The Temple - The End Of Judaism?

Our relationship with God is totally changed by Jesus sacrifice.

Luke 21:5-9 Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?” 8 He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.”

On his last day of public ministry, Jesus is leaving the temple with his disciples when they begin to talk about the magnificent building that was the second temple. The first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians when the Israelites were taken into captivity, the temple was rebuilt to a lesser degree (Ezra 3:12) after it was authorized by Cyrus the Great, this temple came to be known as Herod's temple after he renovated it and made it into the spectacular sight that the disciples marveled at.

Jesus breaks into their conversation and tells them that the temple, as massive as it is, will be completely demolished. The disciples must have stood there in shock, this building was constructed from stones that were huge, Jesus told them about the events that would occur in 70 AD, political unrest would lead to an uprising that would trigger the destruction of the temple.

One of the ways that Jesus proves himself is through prophecy, he has given two in my recent studies the first of his crucifixion and the other is the prophecy of the destruction of the temple. They may not have liked the fact that a Gentile had built up the temple, but at least they had a temple, what sorrow they must have felt to think that they wouldn't have a temple again.

Did God bring the destruction of his temple on purpose to tell us something?

The temple was destroyed:

✔ Justly - because of the sins of the Jews
✔ Mercifully - to take away from them the occasion of continuing in Judaism
✔ Mysteriously - to show that the ancient sacrifices were abolished, and that the whole Jewish economy was brought to an end, and the Christian dispensation introduced.
Adam Clarke's Commentary
The temple was destroyed because of Israel's many sins, including defiling the temple, remember just after Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey he did a partial cleansing of the temple before he began teaching there.

The disciples didn't realize that they were not going to need this temple anymore, soon there wouldn't be a need to practice Judaism any longer. There wasn't any reason to keep this building around, soon Jesus would enter the "more perfect Tabernacle in heaven" the "Most Holy Place" (Hebrews 9:11-12, 24) and while he is there he would offer the final sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 10:1-18)

There is a new temple

Ephesians 2:19-22 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.

We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Even if the building was still standing that building was defiled and the glory of the Lord would probably not be there. Jesus is the cornerstone for a new temple, a temple where Jews and Gentiles have equal access, we are all a part of God's family and we are all a part of his temple.

The old temple is gone, our bodies are now God's temple and his spirit lives in us, we are a royal priest hood, I don't need to go down to a temple building and ask another sinner to make an imperfect sacrifice for me. What I need to do is live to please God so that his Spirit will have a holy dwelling place. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Peter 2:5, Hebrews 7:26-28)

Thank you Lord for coming to live in me! I want to live each day to please you and present you a holy temple. (Galatians 2:19-20, Titus 2:12-14)