Friday 27 January 2012

Route 66 Through The Year: Ezekiel 43:1-5 and 47:1-12

Spring Harvest’s ‘Route 66 Through the Year’ is designed to take readers on a tour through each of the 66 books of the Bible over the course of a year, with each day’s reading featuring a short passage and comment written by a variety of Spring Harvest speakers.

I have contributed notes for this week on Ezekiel, looking today at 43:1-5 and 47:1-12.

Read: Ezekiel 43:1-5 and 47:1-12

The book of Ezekiel concludes with a vision of a renewed temple and city, everything in its place, where God once again lives with his people (chs. 40-48).

In 43:1-5, Ezekiel connects this vision with the earlier ones he received. As God left the temple in the first half of the book (chs. 8-11), so now he returns to take up residence forever. As Ezekiel was earlier invited to explore the temple, so now he is given a tour of its layout, dimensions and furnishings, told about its procedures and regulations, and sees its effect on the fruitfulness of the surrounding land (47:1-12). The presence of God, in the place of worship and sacrifice, transforms the whole city and the whole people. No wonder the vision ends with the glorious note that the new name of the city will be ‘The Lord is there’ (48:35).

As such, Ezekiel’s vision of the restored temple prepares us for the New Testament, where Jesus becomes the place where God truly dwells, the place where sacrifice is made, and where the church becomes the temple of God indwelt by his Spirit. Moreover, we look forward to a time when there will be no need for a temple, for the Lord God Almighty and the lamb will be the temple (Revelation 21:22) – God’s people forever enjoying the glory of God’s presence.

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