“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
On the heels of a discourse about the failure of the religious system and its representatives, Jesus make the following statement:
See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
Last week we talked about the fate of those who reject Christ and that their end is utter desolation - A barren place that is uninhabitable
It’s a place without the presence of Christ
People are seeking peace today but cannot find it because they are looking in all the empty places!
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
So what is happening here? The disciples are giving Jesus a tour of the temple!
The temple was the symbol and center of Jewish life. It was a symbol of their special relationship with God. It had all the trappings of religiosity, ornate, mysterious, grandiose in appearance, inviting.
The problem was that it was only an outward show that trapped people in its lure! God is not impressed by buildings! Overkill in the show
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
You see ritual with relationship is empty!
Many times Christ tried without success to present Himself to the leadership of the day but they wanted nothing to do with it!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
You see before the unconverted did not know the way but once they were enlightened they were accountable for their knowledge!
The knew what God wanted but had no way to get there!
Now with Christs’ exit from the temple he begins the journey of redemption destroying the ways of man to make a new way to God
“Then Jesus departed from the temple”
A significant act which the English translation does not give us the full picture
The word here in the Greek means “To pass away, Going on a death march, Going to death
The Greek God’s had a place for their favorite followers
Homer in the Odyssey on pages 563-568 talks about this journey to the Isles of the Blessed in their death journey!
In the Eleusinian Mysteries this is a privileged place for devotees of Pindar who have lived a difficult, righteous life to the very end!
I hope you can see the implications of choosing this word to describe Jesus exit from the temple?
It was signifying that its over! I’m exiting the scene never to return to this mess you call religion!
Not only will the system come to an end but the physical structure as well!
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
The veil was torn in two signifying that the separation between man and God was over
by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
The beginning of the end of the Temple
“After Herod's death, the country largely descended into anarchy. The Roman governors oppressed the Jews and allowed lawlessness to reign. Roving gangs and corrupt Roman officers plundered and killed. Former High Priests – who had paid their way into the office and then been replaced – formed their own militias to control the Temple.”
4 segments vying for power
Pharisees - Separatists: concerned with ritual purity; Sadducees : reject the oral Torah - generally wealthy Jews who bought their way into the high priesthood; Zealots: Nationalists wanted to fight the Romans; Sicarii: Trained assassins who would target Roman sympathizers
In 66 AD the Jews began the revolt against Rome - Due to Governor Flores who ordered Roman troops into Jerusalem and the slaughtered more than 3600 men that day in an attempt to elicit a response from the Jews. They had gathered to make peace with the Governor, but blood-lust of the soldiers led to this slaughter and then a charge on the temple which was repelled by the people
The rebels caused Rome many losses. The Emperor Nero was sure that the Jews were rebelling against the Roman Empire itself, not just against the abuses of the governor Florus. He sent his best general, Vespasian, with 60,000 Roman soldiers and the most advanced weapons, to quell the revolt. Vespasian was joined by his son Titus. They would begin in the Galilee, in the north of Israel.
Not being able to take the city, Titus blockaded the city and a great starvation fell upon the people 1000’s died.
The streets were soon filled with corpses, and, as it was hot summer weather, terrible epidemics broke out. Hundreds of people were found dead every morning. In their despair, many of the Jews tried to leave the enclosure of Jerusalem under the cover of night to seek something edible in the fields. They were easily captured, and Titus had them crucified in plain view of the city's defenders on the wall. In one night, Josephus tells us, five thousand Jews were discovered searching for food and were all crucified.
Titus saw that the Jews were now weakened by hunger. He had his soldiers cut down all the trees in a thirteen-mile swath around Jerusalem in order to build a new rampart for their assault, and they began dragging their battering rams up again. By the end of the month of Sivan, the Romans were once again battering the Antonia fortress, and this time the Jewish fighters did not have strength to resist. In the beginning of Tammuz, the Romans gained the Antonia fortress. Those who had been defending the fortress now retreated behind the high walls of the Temple complex itself.
Finally, after 3 weeks of fighting, the Romans breached the wall of the Antonia Fortress and the final phase of the conquest began for the Temple. Titus did not want to burn the temple but his orders never made it to the troops so a soldiers firebrand began the blaze. When it was done. The order was given to tear down the remaining stones to get the gold from the treasury that had melted into the cracks.
Even the streets were torn up throughout the city in search for survivors leaving the city almost uninhabitable
While the First Temple was destroyed due to idol worship, illicit relationships and murder, our Sages attribute the destruction of the Second Temple to the baseless hatred that prevailed among the Jews. If the Jews had been united, they would have merited G‑d's protection. They would have withstood the Romans.
I say all of this to remind us first that the prophecy of the Temple being destroyed was fulfilled. The reason…They had rejected the true cornerstone, Jesus.
You can hear the words of Jesus echoing int he back ground:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
My friends, today the Scripture tells that we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
The world rejects the message of Jesus as folloishness
Let me ask you today…have you rejected the saving grace of God through Christ?
The result of the Jews rejecting Him lead to disorder, chaos, self-seeking ambition,
The result of the world rejecting Christ is the same!
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”