As we entered the holy week, I began a new chapter in my Bible study on bodily stewardship. The opening question directed me to brainstorm about the temple: holy, sacrifices, worship, giving, confession, repentance, purity, forgiveness, house of prayer, the dwelling place of God.
I don't know about you, but the very idea of the temple and the presence of God is awe-inspiring. I can only imagine what it would have been like to go daily for prayer, to offer sacrifices regularly, to live and breathe these acts of worship. Like any awesome thing, however, it became mundane to some, a drudgery to others (see the book of Malachi). But to think of all it represented from our timestream here in the future is moving.
The Bible study didn't stop there. In bringing to mind the temple--what we know and may not know about the intricacies revealed in the Old Testament--the point was being made that, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are His temple. That my body, this physical vessel, has become the dwelling of God Almighty.
It was Monday of this week as I did the study and the picture of Jesus in the temple, during the holy week, came to mind. I began to wonder how that same Jesus must react to dwelling in my body, in my affections, in my mind and will. Is this not the same Jesus who drove out moneychangers and overturned tables? Is He not the one who cried out against the robber's den that should be a house of prayer? It was at this point that I begged Him to remove the moneychangers from my heart--those desires and that selfishness that mock Him daily. To take this heart that is so often a den of robbers and make it a house of prayer. Many times this week I have had to stop and ask Him to do a cleansing work, once again, in this humble temple.
The Scripture continues in Matthew 21. "And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them." My prayer: that I may, in all ways and at all times, come to Him blind and lame for His perfect healing. That I may remember His deity and sovereignty and recognize His lordship in this frail vessel He inhabits.
Perhaps He does not dwell in you and you are not His temple. See early posts from this blog for a fuller understanding of God's great love for you.
He is risen.