Temple by Proxy

2 Chronicles 29:1–11, 16–19; Psalm 84; Hebrews 9:23–28 (read online ⧉)

King Ahaz, King Hezekiah’s father, destroyed utensils used in the worship of God, and shut the doors of the temple (prevention of worship), and put altars all around Jerusalem to worship other gods. King Hezekiah sought the restoration of the temple and the right worship of God. Hezekiah knew that the priests—those charged with the care and work of the temple—had not been fulfilling their duties.

King Hezekiah commanded the priests to properly prepare themselves and the temple for worshipping of God. The priests did so and informed the King of the completion of their tasks. They had to be directed to do what their entire tribe had been assigned by God to do.

The temple was supposedly the heart of Hebrew life and the heart of Jerusalem. However, just based on the kings, it really wasn’t the case but for a few. There was a lot of ritual that went with that worship, and a lot of effort. While the restoration was important, for it was a symbol of God, for a time, being the rightful center of Hebrew life, it wasn’t the end.

The writer of Hebrews takes a key element of Hebrew religious life—the temple with its rituals—and flips it on its head. The author interprets them as foreshadowing the tabernacle in Heaven. The author interprets Jesus as the true expression of the priestly rituals of sacrifice. The shadows of the true temple of Heaven are important. It is the reality that Christ is both the eternal offeror of sacrifice and the sacrifice itself that is essential to our understanding of our faith. It is foundational (see yesterday’s devotion). It is essential.

  1. Do you see Jesus as your sacrifice to God to atone for your sins?
  2. How does Jesus being the eternal sacrifice affect your appreciation of it?
  3. How do you understand Jesus’ sacrifice in regard to the sins you have committed since you were saved?

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