Jesus and Sacred Space
"Sacred space" is important-often important enough to die for. From the Great Mosque of Mecca, the holiest shrine in Islam, to St. Peter's, the sacred ground for millions of Roman Catholics, to the Kumbh Mela and the mass Hindu pilgrimages to the sacred rivers of India, the power of holy places continues to be evidenced in the 21st century. For Jews in the first century the sacred ground was the Jerusalem Temple. When Jesus' disciples called His attention to this wonder of the Ancient World, He made an amazing prediction only days before He hung on the cross.
"Do you not see all these things? Count on it! Not a stone upon a stone will be left here. They will all be torn down." - Matthew 24:2
When Jesus stood before Caiaphas, the High Priest, one of the charges brought against Him was that He said He was able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days." (Matthew 24:61). In Matthew's argument their focus on a stone building caused them to miss the fact that Jesus' body was the true temple. It was torn down on Calvary but gloriously rebuilt by Easter morning.
As Jesus' disciple, my focus needs to be on the fact that He is the Messiah, the One who has sent His Spirit to take up residence in my body. This means I don't have to go to some place to get close to God. It also means that I must not think in religious terms about entering " God's House" a couple of times a week, and then that I can leave this so-called "sacred place" and go out and do my own stuff away from God's holy presence.
LORD, thank you that You did allow Your body to be torn down so that our sins could be forgiven. Thank you that You did rise again on the third day proving that when You said You could turn our bodies into a holy temple, You deliver. Thank you that your Spirit came to live in me the moment I believed. Today many are still killing in order to maintain or gain some so-called sacred ground. Use me to get out the message that we no longer need a sacred building or place. We only need Jesus, the Messiah, living within.
Note: The Temple that Herod the Great started rebuilding was finally completed in 63 AD. Seven years later the Romans attacked and destroyed the Temple.
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