The New Temple
Open Your Bible
Ezekiel 40:1-49, Ezekiel 41:1-4, John 1:14-16, John 2:13-22
BY Abby Flynn
Have you ever tried reading through the Bible in a year? While some books and chapters are easy to breeze through, there are parts that can make your eyes glaze over a little.
For me, Ezekiel 40 is one of those chapters. The building instructions for the temple aren’t a super interesting read. It’s easy to feel more like you’re standing in a home improvement store than reading the inspired Word of God. But God has been showing me He has something for us to learn here, too.
In Ezekiel 40 and 41, the people of Judah are twenty-five years into their Babylonian exile. It’s then that God gives Ezekiel a description of a temple restored where His presence would dwell. And in Ezekiel 41:4, God makes a statement that I’m sure not even Ezekiel fully understood at the time. He said,
“This is the most holy place” (Ezekiel 41:4).
What they didn’t know in the middle of their exile was the incredible gift to come for God’s people. The gift wasn’t just their restoration. It was the coming of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
No longer would they have to come to a building to present a sacrifice and be set right with God. God would become human. And through His sacrifice, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit—God dwelling inside of us (John 1:14). In the New Testament, Jesus Christ speaks of a temple that is not a physical place but His body (John 2:21). He has become our Temple and High Priest.
But first, His people had to wait.They had to fully experience exile as they waited for the promise.
Not sure about you, but this is something I can relate to, especially during this Lenten season. None of us like waiting, but the waiting time and reflecting are often when God shows us His grace!
We may experience painful, frustrating waiting times while we wait on God to rebuild what was lost. But often, He has something so much better planned than what we once had. Something different than what we’ve ever seen or experienced before because that’s just how God works.
Have you ever had to wait a long time to see the fulfillment of one of God’s promises found in Scripture? The waiting is hard. And in the middle, in that awkward space, it can be hard to imagine anything being better than what you had before. But even in the waiting, before you see the rebuilding, He offers grace upon grace. That means it’s constant, and it doesn’t run out. It’s more than we could ask for or even begin to understand (John 1:16).
As we spend time reflecting, we are reminded that God works in the details at all times, even when we don’t see yet what He is building. Will you trust Him with the details and accept His grace in the middle?