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Jesus: The Greater Temple, part 1

September 15, 2014

Grace to you! This week we’ll look at how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Temple. From the beginning of man’s creation till now, God has desired for man to walk in fellowship with Him. (Genesis 3:18) Man lost this fellowship with God thru disobedience. Yet God in His mercy began to lay out the way for man to lovingly walk with his Maker once again.

God gave Israel instructions on how to build the tabernacle. This tabernacle, which was more like a movable tent for the place of worship, later became a permanent brick and mortar place called the Temple under King Solomon (about 970-930 BC). But in the tabernacle God had given Israel the sacrificial system to point to the need for payment for the penalty of their sin. In the inner room of the tabernacle was the Holy of Holies, the place where God’s presence was located. The sacrifice of the lamb was what made the presence of God accessible. Interesting enough, 3 of the 12 tribes lived on each side of the tabernacle: 3 to the East, 3 to the North, 3 to the South and 3 to the West. The result? God literally in the middle of His people – God dwelling within His people!

Later as the tabernacle got turned into the temple, it was the same practice except now it was located in the heart of Israel: Jerusalem. God once again dwelling in and with His people!

Things get more exciting! Jesus arrives and we hear this about Him: “and the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) The eternal Son of God, the 2nd person of the Trinity, took on flesh and became man. The word ‘dwell’ in John 1:14 is literally the word “tabernacled”! God now, no longer confiding Himself to mere buildings, is among His people in human flesh! God is with us in Jesus Christ. This is the whole point of Him taking on flesh: God walking with His people! Jesus fulfills the purpose of the temple in His own person. He would be the sacrifice and the meeting place for man and God to fellowship together once again!

What is the true temple? Speaking of His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) All the predictions in the Old Testament about a future, more glorious temple have been realized in Jesus Himself being the true Temple. God has shown throughout the bible He desires for man to be in fellowship with Him. It takes a temple to provide a meeting place for God and man – in Christ we have the greater and final Temple! Man now can be restored to what he was made for: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Jesus Christ is where man can now meet God!

Looking for a church home? Come visit South Whitwell Baptist, 133 South Oak Street, Whitwell. Sunday Service: 10:45 AM. Visit our web page: www.southwhitwellbaptist.webs.com

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