THE TEMPLE AND THE CROSS
For Good Friday, I thought it would be good for us to take some time and reflect on the significance of Jesus clearing the temple in John 2 and how that connects to the cross and our new life in Him.
In the passage, Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the passover and when he sees how the temple has been corrupted he begins to turn over tables and chase the animals out of the temple court. In verse 17, it says that the disciples were reminded of the Old Testament prophecy of Messiah from Psalm 69:9 that says "Passion for God's house will consume me."
But why did it matter, why did Jesus take the temple so seriously? In Israel, the temple was the place where God and man could still relate with one another. It is the place where the heavens and the earth could co-mingle. But the religious leaders had allowed corruption to reign. They were so fixated on keeping the letter of the law, that they forgot the heart of the law. God's desire was that Israel loved Him, trusted Him, and followed Him. But they were not, they had become, as Jesus called them, "whitewashed tombs" clean looking on the outside, but dead inside. Jesus will not stand for that, so he cleanses the temple.
But this act of cleansing in John 2 points to his ultimate act of cleansing when he goes to the cross in order to take on the sin of mankind. In doing so he cleansed another temple... us!
For those of us who put their faith in Jesus, scripture tells us that God comes and "dwells" in us by His Spirit. We become the temple of God's presence. That would be impossible unless Jesus cleansed us and prepared us for God to dwell.
So Jesus gave Himself so that you and I could dwell with God and He could dwell IN us, and He is passionate about it! He was and is committed to our cleansing, both initially in salvation, but also practically in transforming us. The Spirit convicts us of areas of sin and through confession and repentance God changes us. 1 John 1:9 says, "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness."
Because of His work on the cross, you and I are clean. God's presence lives in us and we have perpetual access to Him. When we struggle with sin, we are no further away, than when we dont struggle. Because God is always IN us. That is the scandal of the cross, that because of Jesus you and I are made new.
Celebrate the beauty of the cross this week, but also reflect on the cost. That it took God giving everything of himself in order for us to have all of who He is.
Check out the preview podcast below