Let it all go…

Ezekiel 41:1-4

Then he brought me into the sanctuary [fn1] and measured the doorposts, six cubits wide on one side and six cubits wide on the other side—the width of the tabernacle. 2 The width of the entryway was ten cubits, and the side walls of the entrance were five cubits on this side and five cubits on the other side; and he measured its length, forty cubits, and its width, twenty cubits.

3 Also he went inside and measured the doorposts, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits high; and the width of the entrance, seven cubits. 4 He measured the length, twenty cubits; and the width, twenty cubits, beyond the sanctuary; and he said to me, “This is the Most Holy Place.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=41&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Definitions given for sanctuary are as follows taken from Merriam Webster:

: a consecrated place: as

a: the ancient Hebrew temple at Jerusalem or its holy of holies

b (1): the most sacred part of a religious building (as the part of a Christian church in which the altar is placed) (2): the room in which general worship services are held (3): a place (as a church or a temple) for worship

2

a (1): a place of refuge and protection (2): a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is illegal

b: the immunity from law attached to a sanctuary

Pasted from <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanctuary>

A consecrated place would be a place set aside for a specified use.  It is defined also as a safe place, a place to rest in safety.  What is noted about this description is the difference in entrances.  The closer we get to the inner place, the place called Most Holy, the narrower the entrance.  We cannot enter carrying a lot of ‘stuff’ but must leave all but ourselves outside.  In this place we meet with the Holy One and there is no room for any other or anything else.  What a picture!  We cannot hold on to anything we feel ‘we can’t live without’ because it gets in the way of our relationship with the Lord.  We can live without it because He is our life.  He is all we need.

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Hands that do…

Ezekiel 40:44-49

Outside the inner gate were the chambers for the singers in the inner court, one facing south at the side of the northern gateway, and the other facing north at the side of the southern gateway. 45 Then he said to me, “This chamber which faces south is for the priests who have charge of the temple. 46 The chamber which faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar; these are the sons of Zadok, from the sons of Levi, who come near the LORD to minister to Him.”

47 And he measured the court, one hundred cubits long and one hundred cubits wide, foursquare. The altar was in front of the temple. 48 Then he brought me to the vestibule of the temple and measured the doorposts of the vestibule, five cubits on this side and five cubits on that side; and the width of the gateway was three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side. 49 The length of the vestibule was twenty cubits, and the width eleven cubits; and by the steps which led up to it there were pillars by the doorposts, one on this side and another on that side.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=40&v=1&t=NKJVP>

When you place the form of the cross upon the description here, the north and south gateways to the temple correspond to the hands of Christ out stretched upon the cross that brought us salvation.  Herein are the scars that provide for our redemption.  These are the hands that taught us to serve one another and to carry His message of salvation to the dark world.  When we stand with arms extended we find our hands in the same position.  In Ezekiel’s vision this is where the priests who cared for the temple and altar were found.  They ministered to the Lord in care of His temple and in the care of the altar of sacrifice.  The question that comes is this:  What are our hands doing?  Do they minister to our temple to keep it ready for service to Him?  Do they provide service to His temple in which we worship?  Do they provide the sacrifice of praise – uplifted hands in worship toward Him?  Do they provide the sacrifice of love and caring to our dark world, advising of the love of God who sent His Son as the supreme sacrifice for all sin?  Do they write of His love?  What are we doing to spread the message of judgment and mercy to our dark world?  Do they carry the candle of light, the Light of the world, illuminating the darkness, making it flee, lifting the Christ who said; “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me? ”

 

Lift Him up, let His light shine, let our hands be active spreading His word.

What of sacrifice?

Ezekiel 40:38-43

There was a chamber and its entrance by the gateposts of the gateway, where they washed the burnt offering. 39 In the vestibule of the gateway were two tables on this side and two tables on that side, on which to slay the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. 40 At the outer side of the vestibule, as one goes up to the entrance of the northern gateway, were two tables; and on the other side of the vestibule of the gateway were two tables. 41 Four tables were on this side and four tables on that side, by the side of the gateway, eight tables on which they slaughtered the sacrifices. 42 There were also four tables of hewn stone for the burnt offering, one cubit and a half long, one cubit and a half wide, and one cubit high; on these they laid the instruments with which they slaughtered the burnt offering and the sacrifice. 43 Inside were hooks, a handbreadth wide, fastened all around; and the flesh of the sacrifices was on the tables.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=40&v=1&t=NKJVP>

 

taken from: tijax

There is nothing pretty about sacrifice.  Many turn from pictures like this and wish to only focus on the good; but this is an integral part of the whole of the nature of God and the sin condition of His creation. And so we can conclude there is nothing pretty about sin for which these sacrifices were required.  A parallel picture comes to mind.  There is nothing pretty about the slaughter of the unborn.  And we can also say this occurs as a result of sin.  Worship of self over God’s laws is paramount.  There is nothing pretty about the sacrifice of Christ, which occurred as a result of sin to pay for all sin for all time.  The blessed part of this picture is the salvation that comes from the sacrifice.  Can we truly sense the horror of it and the mercy and love that drove it?  Ho much does God love a sinful creation?  Enough to die a horrible death for it.

The imprint of the cross reflected…

Ezekiel 40:28-37

Then he brought me to the inner court through the southern gateway; he measured the southern gateway according to these same measurements. 29 Also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways were according to these same measurements; there were windows in it and in its archways all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. 30 There were archways all around, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits wide. 31 Its archways faced the outer court, palm trees were on its gateposts, and going up to it were eight steps.

32 And he brought me into the inner court facing east; he measured the gateway according to these same measurements. 33 Also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways were according to these same measurements; and there were windows in it and in its archways all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. 34 Its archways faced the outer court, and palm trees were on its gateposts on this side and on that side; and going up to it were eight steps.

35 Then he brought me to the north gateway and measured it according to these same measurements— 36 also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways. It had windows all around; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 37 Its gateposts faced the outer court, palm trees were on its gateposts on this side and on that side, and going up to it were eight steps.

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Some differences between the outer court and inner court gateways can be noted.  One, the inner court is not as expansive as the outer court.  This brings to mind the statement by Jesus that broad is the way and narrow is the way.  Not quite a fit here for He used it to tell about the way to destruction vs the way to life.  However, we can use it to point to the evidence that of believers there are many who simply come to the cross and progress no further.  There are a few who, like Paul, press on for the prize; these who will receive a crown.   The space taken up by the inner court is less than that taken up by the outer court.  The number of steps is increased, perhaps requiring more effort.  What stands out is that the inner court reflects the outer court in the shape of the cross.  The imprint of Christ on the temple yet to be seen.  May His imprint be upon our temples as well.

We are His temple…

Ezekiel 40:20-27

On the outer court was also a gateway facing north, and he measured its length and its width. 21 Its gate chambers, three on this side and three on that side, its gateposts and its archways, had the same measurements as the first gate; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 22 Its windows and those of its archways, and also its palm trees, had the same measurements as the gateway facing east; it was ascended by seven steps, and its archway was in front of it. 23 A gate of the inner court was opposite the northern gateway, just as the eastern gateway; and he measured from gateway to gateway, one hundred cubits.

After that he brought me toward the south, and there a gateway was facing south; and he measured its gateposts and archways according to these same measurements. 25 There were windows in it and in its archways all around like those windows; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 26 Seven steps led up to it, and its archway was in front of them; and it had palm trees on its gateposts, one on this side and one on that side. 27 There was also a gateway on the inner court, facing south; and he measured from gateway to gateway toward the south, one hundred cubits.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=40&v=1&t=NKJVP>

 

Describing the temple with its gateways and courts gives an image of Christ on the cross.  We are told

our bodies are temples.

“…1 Corinthians  6:19   What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?…”

If we extend  our arms outward to the sides and we form a cross.  Our sins crucified Christ on the cross.

“…1 Peter 2:24  who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed….”

By accepting that sacrifice we become a temple of the Holy One.  Ezekiel sees this temple and it bears the imprint of the cross long before Christ came.  We are proof Christ  came as promised for he lives in each believer.

“…1 John  3:24  Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us….”

The gateways are at the head and the hands; the north, and south are the hands; the east is the head. These are  entries to the temple. The word of God enters through our mind and with our mouth we confess him to others.  Our hands are out-stretched in welcome and love; receiving what He has done for us.  They extend his message to others through service and caring.  May we ever be expressive temples of God’s love to all humanity!  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All are welcome…

Ezekiel 40:17-19

Then he brought me into the outer court; and there were chambers and a pavement made all around the court; thirty chambers faced the pavement. 18 The pavement was by the side of the gateways, corresponding to the length of the gateways; this was the lower pavement. 19 Then he measured the width from the front of the lower gateway to the front of the inner court exterior, one hundred cubits toward the east and the north.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=40&v=1&t=NKJVP>

 

The court, the entry, welcomes all.  It is expansive and welcoming.  The cross is our entry into the kingdom of God.  Christ came to bring us back to the God who created us in purity and love.

The outer court is accessible to all of humanity.  It’s parallel , the cross, is accessible to all of humanity.  There are no limits to God’s grace, there are no restrictions to God’s mercy.  We can all avail ourselves of His provision for salvation from the penalty of sin- death.  Can we rejoice in the mercy of God?  He speaks the necessity of punishment for sin and doesn’t leave it there.  Out of His love for us He makes a way for us to find mercy and forgiveness.  If we choose to reject Him, as so many have and do we are faced with His judgment and the penalty of sin.  If, however, we choose to accept the provision of grace through Christ’s death on the cross, we have the promise of life and it starts at the cross and continues throughout eternity!  Can we wrap our mind, body and spirit around that!  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Additional articles:

Full of Glory:   http://thewordwasgod.blogspot.com/2012/10/full-of-glory.html

The Crucified Yet Living Temple:  http://thewordwasgod.blogspot.com/2009/03/ezekiels-temple-shows-us-nature-of.html

No grey areas….

Ezekiel 40:1-16

In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the LORD was upon me; and He took me there. 2 In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city. 3 He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.

4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.” 5 Now there was a wall all around the outside of the temple. [fn1] In the man’s hand was a measuring rod six cubits long, each being a cubit and a handbreadth; and he measured the width of the wall structure, one rod; and the height, one rod.

6 Then he went to the gateway which faced east; and he went up its stairs and measured the threshold of the gateway, which was one rod wide, and the other threshold was one rod wide. 7 Each gate chamber was one rod long and one rod wide; between the gate chambers was a space of five cubits; and the threshold of the gateway by the vestibule of the inside gate was one rod. 8 He also measured the vestibule of the inside gate, one rod. 9 Then he measured the vestibule of the gateway, eight cubits; and the gateposts, two cubits. The vestibule of the gate was on the inside. 10 In the eastern gateway were three gate chambers on one side and three on the other; the three were all the same size; also the gateposts were of the same size on this side and that side.

11 He measured the width of the entrance to the gateway, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. 12 There was a space in front of the gate chambers, one cubit on this side and one cubit on that side; the gate chambers were six cubits on this side and six cubits on that side. 13 Then he measured the gateway from the roof of one gate chamber to the roof of the other; the width was twenty-five cubits, as door faces door. 14 He measured the gateposts, sixty cubits high, and the court all around the gateway extended to the gatepost. 15 From the front of the entrance gate to the front of the vestibule of the inner gate was fifty cubits. 16 There were beveled window frames in the gate chambers and in their intervening archways on the inside of the gateway all around, and likewise in the vestibules. There were windows all around on the inside. And on each gatepost were palm trees.

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Attribute of God?  A God of order and exactness.  There are no areas called grey.  All is black and white.  Specifics are required.  The accumulation of exactness lends itself to  clarity and  understanding.  The description of the entrance to a temple is exact, specific and clear.  The entrance to salvation is exact, specific and clear. The cross pays for sin’s penalty.  The resurrection promises life and freedom from the bondage of sin.  We have an exact, specific, clear requirement.  We accept what Christ has done and we receive redemption, forgiveness and freedom.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.