So what kind of Temple are you building? We have arrived at this question because we have been provoked to do so by the Son of Man himself.
He has shown us that, in the first century AD, two temples were under construction simultaneously. One in Nazareth, being made of brain, muscle, blood and bones. The other in Jerusalem made of cranes, rubble, wood and stones.
One was an inanimate object the other was an animated body. These are not my ideas it was the Son of Man himself who made the comparison when he called his body a temple.
So profound is the challenge this brings to your working week and daily life that you would be wise to stay with me while we look into these buildings.
As you look around your office, desk, classroom, site or ward you may not be thinking much about temples. As you handle your words or numbers which make up the pages of your day, the first century may not be high on your to do list of things to consider.
But consider this. Herod’s temple, like any building of importance had a core function. In this case two words summed up the central raison d’etre of the structure. Sacrifice and offering. This was the temple’s unique and central function.
The Son of Man was going to change all that and transfer this essential function, first to himself, then to you and me – right now. And he knew it from an early age. His year by year growth constructed the step by step collision course with Herod’s temple and the release of a new world order, of which you are a part in your quiet desk or noisy classroom.
Here’s how it works. Millions of animal sacrifices for sin would be replaced by one human life laid down. Millions of offerings of thanksgiving would be replaced by one offering of a life.
Now here’s the update. Here’s the software release, the inner architecture project is inside of you. You are now called to be a living sacrifice in your own temple. You are invited to make everything you think, feel, do, and are, an offering. The Son of Man now builds a new temple, not just in you, but of you.
The New Testament repeats it over and over and over that Christ is in you, and you are in Christ. You being in Christ means his sacrifice covers your sin. Christ being in you means you can give everything as an offering. In fact this is your core function.
The even better news is that when you operate out of your core function you become more fulfilled, energized and validated. You are at your most alive, most authentic and most distinctive. The Christ in you enables you to custom build a house of sacrifice and offering which satisfies your deepest dreams as well as bringing glory to the God you worship. Now you can see that everything you do is a prayer. Everything about you is worship. Everything you own is a sacrifice. Everything you become is praise.
The Nazarene temple building project was the archetype, the alpha, the pioneer. The young man of Nazareth was sweating large drops to build the temple which could be multiplied in millions of other bodies.
For his sake use your mind to think on these things. For they are right at the heart of your faith and form the basis of your week – every week.
50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”
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