When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn. 2:19), he was not only hinting at his forthcoming resurrection, but he was also claiming to be the true temple, and the ultimate meeting place between God and man. On this program Shane Rosenthal explores the biblical background to this idea by talking with J. Daniel Hays, author of The Temple and the Tabernacle: A Study of God’s Dwelling Places from Genesis to Revelation.
“Throughout the Old Testament, the temple represented the presence of God, but the people stand against that and they worshipped idols. And so, in Ezekiel 8 to 10, we have an account of God’s presence leaving the temple. There’s no indication the presence of God comes back to Israel until Jesus shows up and actually walks in through those temple doors. So, when Jesus identifies himself with the temple, it signifies this is the presence of God who has now come back to interact with his people.”
–J. Daniel Hays
Term to Learn
“Christ in the Old Testament”
Q. How do we come to know that Christ came to make us right with God?
A. The holy gospel tells me. God himself began to reveal the gospel already in Paradise; later, he proclaimed it by the holy patriarchs and prophets, and portrayed it by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; finally, he fulfilled it through his own dear Son.
(Adapted from The Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 19)