Jesus: I am the Temple
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jesus says this words on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
During this feast, priests would lead a procession to the temple and pour water at the base of the altar.
On the last day of the feast, one of the scriptures read was Ezekiel 47, which spoke of a future temple from which water would flow, bringing life and healing.
The priests’ pouring out of the water at this feast signified this.
Therefore, by inviting everyone to come to Him and drink, Jesus was in effect saying, “I am the reality of your ritual. I am the temple from which living waters flow”.
Today, I want to focus on Jesus as the Temple of God.
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
The original Temple was called the Tabernacle, and here we have a picture of it...
Pic of tabernacle from above
Another pic of tabernalce
In this message, we will look at the main parts of the tabernacle, and consider how we can see Jesus in each part.
Pic of altar (to the left)
This is where sacrifices were offered to God.
It represents the cross of Jesus Christ, who offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to God:
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
Pic of the basin (to the right)
The priests washed in the basin in preparation for service to the Lord.
It represents the cleansing that Jesus brings us through His word:
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
The basin was made of bronze, but where did this bronze come from?
8 He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
They didn’t have mirrors like we do today, and so the women used polished bronze for their mirrors.
This reminds us of something very important. The word of God is a mirror! Before you go out, you look in the mirror to check everything is OK. If something is out of place, you make the necessary adjustments.
The word of God has the same purpose - it shows us what we need to adjust in our lives. Not acting on what we read is like looking at a mirror, seeing a problem, and not doing anything about it:
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
The altar and the basin are both outside the tabernacle proper.
Let’s enter in and see what’s inside
The first section inside the tabernacle was called the Holy Place.
In side were three objects.
The first (to the left of the picture), was the lampstand.
The lamptstand had seven branches.
Light speaks of the ability to see. Seven speaks of completion.
The seven-branched lampstand reminds us that God sees everything, everywhere.
Note that in the following verses which depict heaven, the seven lamps of God, are called the seven Spirits of God, which are also called the seven eyes of God.
5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
The seven-branched lampstand reminds us that God, by His Spirit, sees everything.
We can therefore be assured that God is watching over us!
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
Knowing God sees all things should also inspire to live right at all times. God is watching, even if no one else is!
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
[Picture of shewbread]
This represents the fellowship we have with God.
Jesus said to the church in Laodicea:
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Eating together is metaphoric of fellowship.
Not only is God watching over us, He wants to have a relationship with us too.
24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Make sure you fellowship with God throughout the day.
The Altar of Incense
The Altar of Incense
The altar of incense was used to burn incense before the Lord.
7 “Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. 8 And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
This reminds us that God has pleasure in our prayers and praises:
8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
However, we must remember that Jesus is the temple. The altar of incense is therefore ultimately about Him. It reminds us that Jesus Himself is a worshipper. He Himself worships and prays to His Father:
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Beyond the curtain was the Most Holy Place, in which was the Ark of the Covenant:
The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant
The ark was considered the throne of God, and there were two cherubs (heavenly beings) on either side of the cover.
15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
However, the high priest could only approach God’s throne once a year, and would have to come with the blood of a sin offering which he would sprinkle on and before the ark’s cover, which was called the mercy seat.
7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
This reminds us of Jesus, who entered the Heavenly Holy of Holies with His own blood:
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Jesus has made it possible for us to all have access to the Most Holy Place:
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Notice, the passage refers to the “veil” in v20:
This veil was between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place
Heb 10:20 says we can enter the Holiest,
20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
The veil represents Christ’s crucified body, which has made it possible for us to enter.
Be encouraged today that you can enter the Most Holy Pace boldly and come before God’s throne:
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus is the temple of God from which living waters flows
The altar speaks of the cross of Jesus
The basin speaks of Jesus cleansing us with the word of God
The lampstand reminds us that the Father and Jesus are watching over us and see all things
The bread reminds us of the fellowship Jesus wants to have with us
The altar of incense speaks of Jesus' worship and intercession to the Father, and reminds us of our need to do the same
The ark of the covenant is the throne of God, which we can approach with boldness through the veil, which is the crucified body of Christ
Midweek fellowship - Wed 5th Sep, 19:15, at Joe and Naomi’s
Bible study - Sun 9th Sep, 6pm
New corporate reading - Psalms! Starts Sat 1st Sept.