Monday, July 7, 2008

New Testament Awesomeness

People! People! People! I cannot tell you how excited about today I am!

Oh, my BFF, Kim, and I sat at her computer Saturday night foolin' around with our blogs and we finally joined the smart people and added the Reader buttons to our blogs! Dude, I know...waaaaay behind. So, you can not only just subscribe to FeedBlitz, but I added the RSS button for your subscription pleasure! :)

Okay, back to how simply, totally, and incredibly excited I am! I hope that you get just as jazzed as I do about this day because today, we look at the beautiful blood bridge between the Old Testament temple and the New Testament Awesomeness of US being called the temple.

And, yes, I typed "blood bridge". eeewww

The Temple of the Old Testament had three distinct sections: The Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. And within each place there were certain pieces of furniture. I told you we'd come back to the things in the temple and draw some connections between those and what they mean to us today. Each thing in the Old Testament's Temple was a "type" of what was and is to come. Not all is fulfilled, as with much in the Word, because Jesus isn't back yet. So, until then...enjoy this...

Here is the run down that will get you fired up! Come with me as I give you a little tour.

Our first stop is the Outer Court. Basically, anyone could enter here.

The Outer Court had one specific thing that you will find interesting: the altar of burnt-offering. At this place there, a fire was to be burning at all times. As a dear Professor at my Bible College puts it, "This suggest to us that as the sacrifice was constantly upon the altar, so also the atoning death of Christ is always available to us for forgiveness of the death of Christ is adequate to meet every special need of our souls." 1 (hold that thought)

There was a brazen laver, more commonly known in our day as a sink. The Priests had to wash up before going in. We too have been cleansed by Christ to enter into God's presence.

"...let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:22

Please follow me into the Holy Place. Only the Priests could come in here. No-no to everyone else.

In here you will find that "the furniture of the court was connected with sacrifice, that of the sanctuary itself with the deeper mysteries of mediation and access to God." Meaning, this place was full to the brim with connection with God.

I had a first room. In it was the altar of incense, the table of shew-bread, and the lampstand.

The altar of incense is prayer to us. But, not OUR prayer. The priest would take some of the fire off the altar and would throw incense on it. Meanwhile, the people would pray outside. The priest doing this incense typified the intercession of Christ in heaving, making his people's prayer on earth acceptable. Jesus prays for us and with us and takes them to God as the priest of our prayer. Amazing.

The table of shew-bread or the Bread of the Presence (conjure up any ideas?) I'm thinking about when Jesus said He was the Bread of Life! He is the Presence of God with us at all times.

One more thing in here...the lampstand. This light was to be lit all night. A light shining in the darkness. Jesus calls us the light of the world in Matthew 5. John calls Jesus the light of the world. There's not getting around it...we are the lampstands that shine the light of Christ in the darkness at all times.

Now...please, lower your voice, turn off your cameras and cell phones and follow me into the Holy of Holies. It's just through this curtain.

It changes in here. It's heavy. We're not supposed to be in here. It's reserved for the High Priest, but He said it was okay to come on in. What you are looking at is the Ark of the Covenant. Beautiful isn't it? Within it is the Law which is covered there by the Mercy Seat. If you stare long enough it will change shape. Now what do you see?

He's probably average height, brown hair, Middle-eastern face. In Him is the fulfillment of the Law and from Him comes Mercy to set us free from that Law.

Now, if you wait just a minute, get out of the way for a second, you'll see it. Here it comes.

The Glory. You'll notice, it not only goes to Him, but through Him and is coming to us.

"But we didn't do anything?" you say.

I know.

He did.

We were just guilty by-standers who got the Glory.

Remember when we discovered that the Glory of God came down, it seemed, before His love. Then we discovered that His Glory makes His Love Lavish and His Love makes His Glory Glorious? Well, you just saw it in it's purest form.

Way back when Moses was commanded to build the tabernacle there was always one thing that happened prior to the Glory falling.


An offering was made. Something died before the Glory of God would or could come down to dwell with man.

That Sacrifice was made complete the day Jesus died. He was The High Priest who entered the Holy of Holies and became the Sacrifice for everyone. One High Priest. One Death. One final Sacrifice.

He did it all.

Then, the craziest thing happened. The Glory came down.

Read this and tell me if this isn't crazy.

"Now I am going to him who sent me...It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away (i.e death) the Counselor will not come to you (i.e.
Glory of God in the Spirit);
but if I go, I will send him to you...But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell
you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it know to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine."
(all that emphasis was definitely mine)

You want more crazy? Okay, read this...

(think temple)

"Now, if the ministry that brought death which was
engraved in the letters on stone
(the 10 commandments) came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was... (sidebar: when Moses came down from the Mountain with God, his face was glowing and the people couldn't look at him...okay, continue on) if that came with glory, "will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men (the law) is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!" 2 Corinthians 3:7-9

Did you follow that? Good. We have been given such mercy through Jesus. He truly opened the way for us to be reconciled to God. Having an understanding of the Old Testament and all the rituals and commandments concerning the temple makes His death even more beautiful and unbelievable.

Jesus entered the true Holy of Holies in heaven unlike the Priests in the Old Testament who entered a temple that was only a shadow of what was to come. Jesus became the sacrifice once and for all--one time. This is why we go through Jesus for forgiveness and through Him to receive the Holy Spirit.

Everything passes through Him: love, forgiveness, cleansing, reconciliation, grace, mercy, faith, and the indwelling of the Glory, the Holy Spirit. He paid the sacrifice, but we get the Spirit. And there is the indwelling Glory that settles on the now fleshy temple of God.

That's why ALL THINGS are in Him and through him. All confession, all blessing, all struggles, all answers.

And that my friends, is why there is nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God.

What is more, He makes and calls us His Temple.

The Glory has fallen and it has fallen on you.

We'll look more at what that means practically for our in our everyday lives all this week! More New Testament Awesomeness on it's way!

Told you you'd get excited!!! Now, sit back, and let that soak in for a little bit.


Anonymous said...

GREAT insight!


Tammy said...

I am going to have to let this soak quite a while. I am having one of those days where things flit in and I am going to really let it hang there in my sponge of a mind. It was an awesome post.