Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem and is greeted with cheers and shouts of “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” But wherever Jesus goes trouble follows because light and darkness cannot exist in the same place. So it doesn’t take long for Jesus to tick off the religious leaders and he does so in a dramatic way.
It was time for the passover celebration and people from all over were coming to Jerusalem to celebrate and to make sacrifices. It wasn’t easy to travel with live stock, so you could buy a spotless lamb outside of the temple. But the merchants selling these animals were looking to make a profit and so they were ripping the people off by charging a lot of money.
The another aspect that makes it even worse was the fact that the people who came to worship were required to pay a temple tax to get in. But some people were using different currency than the temple tax, so they would have to have money exchanged and the exchange rate was outrageous.
Jesus wouldn’t put up with this. I have always loved the account of Jesus socken it to the money lenders in the temple, turning over the tables and driving out the scam artists. Throughout the gospel accounts we see Jesus, meek and mild, quiet and gentle. But here we see the roaring Lion of Judah! We see Jesus filled with passion and zeal for righteousness, for the proper worship of his father and for the respect owed to a Holy God.
The temple was a very significant place for Jesus. Not only did he teach there but God’s special presence was manifested in the Holy of Holies. It was significant because Jesus came to fulfill everything that the temple stood for. He is the temple and everything it represents.
“I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Rev. 21
Here are some of the ways in which Jesus is the temple.
1. He is the only access to God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
We no longer need to go to a place in order to worship God or have fellowship with him. Jesus is the way to the father and we can access him anytime.
2. He is the presence of God
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, Colossians 2:9
We no longer need a Holy of Holies because Jesus the Holy One has torn the veil and made a way directly to God through his death.
3. He is the ultimate sacrifice
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
No longer is the slaughter of animals necessary. It was a shadow of the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus, who would once and for all deal with the sins of those who believe on him. His hands and side are permanently scarred (John 20:27) as a sign that our sins have been permanently been done away with.
4. He is our mediator, our high priest
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. Hebrews 4:14
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, Hebrews 6:19
We are blessed to live when we do because we no longer need to travel to Jerusalem in order for a priest to make sacrifices on behalf for our sins. Jesus is our blameless lamb, our ultimate sacrifice, we can rest assured that our sins, past, present and future, have been paid for and God’s wrath has been appeased. Jesus is our great Hight Priest who prays for us and goes before the Father on our behalf.
Jesus was so passionate about the proper treatment of the temple because he knew that it stood for so much more. Because of Jesus we are free to worship without the fear of doing it wrong. Jesus, our high priest, takes our worship, perfects it, and offers it to God. Jesus, our sacrificial lamb, is our once-and-for all sacrifice so our sins are forgiven. All we truly need is Jesus.
Looking To Jesus,