The Place Where Heaven and Earth Meet
Regis Nicoll Regis Nicoll's weblog
- 2019 Jan 04
One of the oddities of the Bible is how little it reveals about the life of Jesus. All we know of Jesus prior to age thirty are a few sketchy accounts by Matthew and Luke, with gospel writers Mark and John completely silent on his early life.
While the omission has piqued the interest and imagination of many a Bible student, the details that are there, though few, are profound in significance—not the least of which, is that his first recorded public appearances are in the temple: At eight days old, his infant cries pierced the ears of his circumciser; thirty-two days later, his grinning coos warmed the hearts of Simeon and Anna; Then, as 12-year-old “missing child,” his thoughtful words stimulated the minds of Israel’s teachers.
Fast forward to the end of his public ministry and Jesus is again at the temple where his voice rumbles throughout the courts as his drives out the moneychangers, upbraids the religious leaders, and, finally, looks over the city weeping aloud for his countrymen. Even from the remove of Golgotha, his last words, “It is finished,” reach the temple in a thunder clap that shreds the veil from top to bottom.
The prominence of the temple at both ends of Jesus’s life points to its importance in biblical history and beyond.
Earth as Temple
In the edenic era, earth was a creation-temple, facilitating human-divine congress so that man could enjoy fellowship with God.
One can imagine the original creation as a hyper-dimensional realm in which heaven and earth were not separate, but adjoined, overlapping and interlocking, allowing God, a hyper-dimensional Being, to be manifestly present for man.
(As a teasing side note: some scientists see evidence that our universe came from a higher dimensional one. But that’s a topic for another day.)
This doesn’t mean that the original creation was non-physical, but that it was more than physical, perhaps like Jesus’s resurrected body that could be seen, touched, and felt, but could pass through solid objects and move from place-to-place instantly and effortlessly, prefiguring the new creation.
The human design, as Imago Dei, is suggestive of the kind of intimacy God initiated with Adam and Eve and desires with us.
But what was, was interrupted and changed with the Fall. Continue reading here.