In Revelation 21, John describes a place with no temple. Is John encouraging us to not have church? Fortunately that is not the case. And I am especially happy about this because as soon as I get done with today’s journal entry, I am heading to church!
Scripture: “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” – Rev. 21:22
To understand what John is talking about, we have to look at how the church, the temple, and what was customary and expected back then. We get a really good description of this in Chronicles 3:3-14. But in short, the temple consisted of an inner and outer court. The people gathered in the outer courts, but the inner court was reserved for the priests. The building that was the actual temple was for God, and only a few priests were allowed to enter it. This was done to separate God from the people because back then it was not appropriate to approach God in an unholy state.
This belief came from the fact that God forced Adam and Eve to leave the garden of Eden once they had sinned (Genesis 3:22-24). There was not a temple in the garden called Eden (see Genesis 3:8). However, once they had sinned, God removed them from the garden (Genesis 3:21) so they would not die (Genesis 3:3). Once they had sinned, they had to be separated from God for their own safety.
But then Christ came, and changed everything. When God sent Jesus and he died on the cross, it made it possible for his people to approach him and even to go into his most holy place (Hebrews 10:19-22). So through Christ we can go directly to God, regardless of our sinful state. And nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). There is no separate holy place. He will constantly remain with his people (Rev. 22:3-4).
That is the kind of relationship that God has always wanted to have with his people. God wants to, and is, always with us. And through Jesus Christ, who died so that our sins would be forgiven, God is no longer separated from us. How can we be separated from God when our bodies are His temple, and He lives in us (1 Corinthians 6:19)!
John didn’t see a temple in his vision because he wasn’t looking in the mirror!
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Thank you for the revelation in your Word, and for leading us to resources and a deeper understanding. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that nothing can separate us from you. We know that we are far from perfect, but we ask that you cleanse us, wash us clean, purify us from the inside out. Help us to make good choices Lord, and to live a life that is worthy of the life that you have given us. We seek you first, and give you all the honor and glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Image courtesy of: by Janine
Photo By by Janine
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