Our visionary journey through the ideal Old Testament temple left off at the end of Ezekiel 40 at the entrance to the holy building itself where God would meet with His people. It was now time to learn about the space beyond the foyer. The angelic guide continued his work of measurement inside the main worship area and even beyond into the “Most Holy Place.”
The beauty and order of the temple interior were described so that the prophet could pass all these details on to the Jewish exiles who would soon hear Ezekiel’s revelation. Particularly noteworthy were the carved artistry of alternating palm trees and cherubim. The heavenly creatures each contained two faces, one human and the second a young lion. These decorations were reminiscent of the original tabernacle and of Solomon’s edifice that had been destroyed by the Babylonians fourteen years earlier. They were pictures that told the story to those who approached that they were coming near to a divine world beyond the curtain where God promised to dwell.
It would be a very natural desire for a reader from any era to want to join the tour and to take in the wonder of this great building. As New Testament believers we must remind ourselves, though, that it would be a step backward for us to construct such a facility since we already have something far better than what Ezekiel saw that day.
The perfect Son of God is our temple. We are united with Him and have the boldness that comes from our approved access to the Almighty (Ephesians 3:12). Earlier generations could only worship in fear and keep their distance from the Holy of Holies. Through the death of our Savior, the dividing curtain that once kept us at a safe distance has been torn in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38).
We may now approach the Lord together as His people, knowing that our Mediator has purified the way for us to be in the presence of our God. Why would we want to return to an Old Testament structure, even an ideal one, that was preparatory for the coming of our Messiah? The Lord is risen indeed! It is our great privilege to participate in heavenly worship through our union with Jesus.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, we want to worship You forever and ever. How can we dwell with You? We will have to be changed in our deepest nature. All sin will be utterly removed from us. The faults of our old hearts that distract us now in public worship and private devotion will be completely erased. The clamor of human weakness and depravity will be very far from our new life. Teach us to contemplate our heavenly home even now. We will see things there that we have never seen before. We look forward to experiencing that glory without any concern that our joy will ever be taken away. Grant this holy desire, together with the forgiveness of all our trespasses.