When God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt, he brought them through the sea, and finally to Mount Sinai where he made a covenant with them and gave them a new way of life embodied in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17).
God gave Moses instruction for worship and for making the Tabernacle, or Tent of Meeting, which was later replaced by the temple in Jerusalem. The New Testament tells us that these “serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary” – God’s Temple in heaven (Hebrews 8:5).
Jesus’ cleansing of the temple is also a prophetic sign of what he wants to do with each of us. He ever seeks to cleanse us of sin so that we may be living temples of his Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Do you recognize God's indwelling presence with you and do you thirst for holiness in your personal life so that you may reflect his goodness and character within you? When Jesus went up to Jerusalem at Passover time, he spoke of the temple as his Father’s house which was being made into “house of trade” (John 2:16) and “den of robbers” (Mark 11:17).
That is why he used physical force to expel the money-chargers. The prophecy of Malachi foretold the coming of the Lord unexpectedly to his Temple to “purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the Lord” (Malachi 3:1-4).
Jesus' disciples recalled the words of Psalm 69: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” This was understood as a Messianic prophecy. Here the disciples saw more clearly Jesus perform a public sign and act of judgment as the Messiah who burned with zeal for his Father's house.
The Jewish authorities, however, wanted proof that Jesus had divine authority to act as he did. They demanded a clear sign from God to prove Jesus' claim, otherwise, they would treat him as an imposter and a usurper of their authority. Jesus replied that the sign God would give would be his own resurrection from the dead: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up".
The Jews did not understand that the temple Jesus referred to was his own body. The “tent of his body” had to be destroyed on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' blood which was shed for each one of us cleanses us of sin and opens the way for us to enter into the presence of the living God.
Through his death and resurrection, Jesus not only reconciles us with our Father in heaven – he fills us with his Holy Spirit and make us temples of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Do you allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten and cleanse your mind of all that is contrary to his truth, love, and will for your life?
The Holy Spirit will heal all that is broken within us and he will give us new hearts that seek to please God in all things.
The Lord wants to heal, restore, and free us today from every sin and every obstacle that might holds us back from giving him our whole lives as a sacrifice of praise and worship.
Ask the Holy Spirit to set your heart on fire with the love of God and with zeal for dwelling in the Father's house both now and forever.