Exposition of Ezekiel (22): The New Covenant Temple
The New Covenant Temple (1) - Exposition of Ezekiel (part 22)
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge xyzz December 9, 2007 (Ezekiel ch. 40-48)
“Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.” (Ezek 40:1-4 ESV)
Old Visions - There is a “new exodus pattern” in Ezekiel 32-39, including a type of Amalekite attack in the Exodus (38-39) which I argued finds historical fulfillment in the attack of the Jews by Haman the Agogite in the times of Esther (Esth 9:24ff cf “Hamon-Gog” Ez. 39:11). The victory won during those days brought about the greater expansion of the knowledge of God flowing to the nations (Est. 8:17, Ez. 48) and led to the rebuilding of the temple.
New Visions - In Ezekiel 40 we find the final vision of a new temple. The vision has four basic parts: (1) the description of the temple (40:5-42:20); (2) the return of God’s glory to the temple (43:1-9); (3) the temple regulations (43:10-46:24); and (4) the topographical surroundings and inheritance (47:1-48:35). The temple vision is the culmination of Ezekiel both in the literary structure and the theological content. Israel will be restored and the central connecting point between God and His people, the temple with the priesthood and inheritance, will be more gloriously manifest.
Alternate Visions - How will these visions be fulfilled? One view is that there will be a rebuilt temple during the “Tribulation” and that during the “Millennium” physical Jerusalem will have a functioning OT sacrificial system with Jesus on the throne, incarnate. According to this view, “an earthquake will destroy...the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and The Dome of The Rock, so The Jews can build The Third Temple.” This Premillennial vision is based upon a misreading of . . . the Bible. The Reformed view is that Jesus fulfills the Abrahamic covenant which was to “undo” the fall of Adam. Israel failed to do their mission, but True Israel succeeded. Jesus’s body (literally and spiritually) is the place indwelt by God, the temple. The temple of the OT is fulfilled by the body of Christ, the living stones in which God dwells (1 Pet. 2:5). God purposes to redeem this creation by the renewal of hearts. It will not help to create an artificial 1000 year period with a better OT system. In history, there is an initial fulfillment of this in the post-exillic rebuilding of the temple recorded at the end of Chronicles and in Ezra, which sets the stage for the coming of Christ (cf 2 Chr 36:22-23 ESV)
Exhortations - “All the promises of God find their Yes in him...through him we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Cor. 1:20). Jesus’ body was destroyed and raised (Jn. 2:21). By faith we are in the body of Christ and are “living stones” “being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1Pet. 2:5). Now live like it!
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more
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