The Cross and the Temple
The Cross and Everyday Life
The Cross And The Temple
Jesus dramatic entrance into Jerusalem was packed with meaning:
- Riding a donkey – a colt – fulfilling prophecy
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
- Spreading of garments on the road – compare with anointing of Jehu as king
“Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”” (2 Kings 9:13)
- Waving of palm branches – Symbol of victory – The time between the Old and New Testament under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus - restored and rededicated the Temple
- People shouted “Hosanna” which means “save now” – it was a cry of help from a distressed people to a King or God
- Jesus came not only to Jerusalem, but specifically to the Temple to declare himself King
- What Jesus did at the temple seems so odd, so strange
- What did the temple mean?
- What did the cleansing of the temple mean?
- What does it mean to me today?
What Did The Temple Mean?
- It was a place To Meet God
“But you shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go,” (Deuteronomy 12:5)
“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” (John 4:20)
- It was a place of Sacrifice
“and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.” (Deuteronomy 12:6)
Sacrifices were a powerful reminder that you cannot approach a Holy God without atoning for sin
- The temple was useful, but it was designed by God to be a Temporary Provision
“For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:1–4)
What Did The Cleansing Of
The Temple Mean?
- Jesus demands Spiritual Reality not just religious activity
“den of robbers” comes from the prophet Jeremiah’s warning
“Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 7:11)
It is not so much that what they were doing was wrong it was just in the Wrong Place and what it had Replaced
“Sin is not simply doing bad things, it is putting good things in the place of God. So the only solution is not simply to change our behavior, but to reorient and center the entire heart and life on God.” Tim Keller
- Is there any place in my life where a “good thing” has become a “bad thing” because it has taken the place of God in the center of my heart and life?
- What are the things in my life that have crowded out the privilege and priority of prayer in my life?
- Jesus demands Authority
Jesus comes in and acts like He owns the place because He Does
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)
If Jesus is genuinely in your life, he starts to Rearrange the Furniture
- In what areas of my life does Jesus want to “rearrange the furniture?”
- Jesus declares that he is the Final Temple
“So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” (John 2:18–22)
Jesus is declaring himself to be God in Person
Jesus death on the cross would be the Final Sacrifice
- Do I recognize Jesus to be fully God and that His death on the cross was the only sufficient provision for my sin and rebellion against God?
A genuine Christian is someone who has had a personal Palm Sunday
- Have you personally called out to Jesus and asked him to save you by trusting in his perfect life and substitutionary death and resurrection?
- Are you living life fully submitted to the authority of Jesus as your rightful king?
- What is the next step in your walk with Jesus Christ?