WS Update: At Home with God

February 13, 2023

The Temple is a core theme of Scripture. The Old Testament Temple in Jerusalem was the representation of God’s relationship with his people. It was the home of God’s glory — the meeting place of God and man together on earth. He was in the midst of Israel living with his people through their hardships. It was the place of atonement where the sins of his people were paid for and forgiven.

When the Temple was destroyed, it struck at the heart of God’s people. Those who put too much faith in the symbol of God’s presence had their hope dashed. Does he still love us? Can he still watch over us? Are we abandoned? We all feel that way when the most important things are taken away from us and our dreams are crushed.

Those who saw that Yahweh was still their God remained filled with hope. What is his new plan of salvation? When will we be restored? How can we repent and cling to him? A new Temple building was built after they returned from exile, but it just wasn’t the same. It was renovated and enlarged, but it still wasn’t the same. 

And then hundreds of years later the real temple came as a person instead of a structure. Jesus is not a representation of God and man together on earth; he is God and man together on earth! He is the sacrifice of atonement inside that temple. When Jesus, the God-man-Temple-sacrifice, rose again from death he fulfilled all of it. The building is no longer needed because everything it stood for is complete.

There is yet another iteration of the Temple. Paul writes: “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). The collective body of Christians is the Temple because they perform the same role: God’s Spirit dwells in them. Christians carry that precious glory of God everywhere they go and have the privilege of being the reconciliation point between God and his creation. It is the highest calling and greatest honor anyone can imagine.

Do you want to know more about the biblical-historical story of the Temple, including the future cosmic Temple? Click here to watch a short video.

Ash Wednesday Service

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a 40-day period (not including Sundays) that is meant to help us focus on Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the wilderness (Matthew 4). In Scripture ashes (dust) symbolize frailty or death (Genesis 18:27), sadness or mourning (Esther 4:3), judgment (Lamentations 3:16), and repentance (Jonah 3:6). The cross that is imposed on the forehead during the service represents a journey that starts with the recognition of our mortality and ends with the affirmation on Easter that death has lost its sting.

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