Posted on October 15, 2014
#75: My Heart, His Temple
In Old Testament times, the prophet Ezekiel was assigned a sad task. He had to bring God’s message of judgment to His people, rebellious Israel. As a captive who had been carried off to Babylon, Ezekiel recorded a heartbreaking vision of God’s glory departing from Jerusalem’s beautiful temple back in his homeland (Ez. 10).
Some 600 years later, the glory of the Lord again filled Jerusalem’s temple in the person of Jesus. From the day Mary and Joseph carried the forty-day-old infant Jesus into the temple and placed Him in the arms of a rejoicing Simeon (Lk. 2:25ff), to the day Jesus sat in a quiet corner observing the temple’s givers (Mk. 12:41ff), each time He entered its courts the temple was filled with divine glory.
Take a moment to review Mark 12, thinking back over our studies of the past few weeks.
How sad to realize that Mark’s twelfth chapter records the end of Jesus’ public ministry and the last time He would visit the temple. The crowds who listened to Him with delight on that day (Mk. 12:37) didn’t know that the glory of the Lord was about to depart from the temple once again. From this point on, He would spend time with friends in Bethany. He would share a few final teachings with His disciples, He would eat a last supper with them, then be arrested, tried and crucified (all within the coming two days).
His death and resurrection would bring a new era when His dwelling place wouldn’t be in the temple but in the hearts of His people—causing Paul to write, “We are the temple of the living God.” (2 Cor. 6:16) Paul followed this with a great challenge: “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Cor. 7:1)
When we come to God through Christ and He makes us clean, forgiving our sins and clothing us in His righteousness, He takes up residence in us. His glory dwells in us. If we allow ourselves to be contaminated by sin, we’re in essence asking Him to either live in our filth or get out.
Instead, our love and reverence for Him should have us perfecting holiness, never content to cohabitate with sin. We need to sweep out the corners of our hearts regularly, a continual process of making sure all is clean and pure so the Lord of glory is at home in us.
Take some time this week to examine the state of your heart. Have you become comfortable with some impurity, ignoring it or—worse yet—making excuses for it? Is it time for some serious cleaning? Don’t let the glory of the Lord depart from the temple of your heart. Begin now perfecting holiness.
© Diane McLoud 2014