Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ 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 7:4, 11) Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1) And Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve… And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:11,15-17)
God’s Temple was one of the greatest wonders God gave the world. In its heyday it was the greatest religious edifice on earth. When Alexander the Great finally got there after years of planning to, and following a dream in which a ‘priest of the most High God’ called him, he was amazed by it and blown away that there was no visible ‘god’ in it. From the Temple the law of the True God was supposed to go out into all the world to all people. But God’s people had corrupted His worship and spurned His word. They held fast to a form of godliness – the Temple, the Sacrifice, the Rituals, the Priesthood – but denied the power. Their evil behaviour compromised their witness to the nations and stopped gentiles coming to God. Israel was full of corruption and robbery as well as syncretistic worship. So God sent prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel to expose their sin and call them back to God. Israel flattered themselves saying that God does not see their sin. God warned that He would come and see for Himself and that judgement would begin in the courts of the Lord. Meet Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus is the Messenger of the New Covenant who came to the Temple to see. In an enactment of coming judgement He drove the people out of the Temple courts. But He did more than that. He erected the New and Perfect Temple – His own body. PRAY and praise God that Jesus has cleansed the Temple. He is the Perfect High Priest and Perfect sacrifice. We can always approach God in His Perfect Temple: Jesus! Nothing can stop you getting to God.