Purpose: Rebuilding the Temple is the rebuilding of one’s self in the image of God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is given to each of us through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a continuous and continuing process.
To confess my sin is to recognize I agree with God. I know I need Him.
Rebuilding the Temple remains an incomplete piece just as we, the children of God, are also incomplete until Jesus returns. The work serves to remind us of what Peter says in 1 Peter 2 that God has made each of us “…a living stone; [we] are being built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood…” and with Jesus being the chief cornerstone and high priest. How incredible is it that we are the building blocks which Jesus uses to reach the lost?
The female figure symbolizes an individual or the bride of Jesus Christ. She represents our walk through the trials and tribulations of life as our spirit lives in a corruptible body that fights against the spiritual life.
The scattered wood and stone reveals and expresses this spiritual need in our daily walk. Wood and stone pieces identify the continuous process of asking the Lord to clean out the areas in our inner house and rebuild them. As in Ezra 9 how like the Israelites of his time, we too forsake the Lord’s commands. We mingle (or mix) God’s ways and the world’s ways together; therefore, we disgrace our holy temples ─ the Holy Spirit’s residing place. We make ourselves slaves to evil. Each of us, a part of the bride of Jesus Christ, like Ezra’s prayer to God, need to get on our knees and agree with Ezra “…I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to You because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens….” What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds, and our great guilt, and yet, our God, You have punished us less than our sins deserve….”
As the people in Ezra’s day, we receive God’s kindness, for He continues to offer opportunity to repair our temple through the Holy Spirit by repenting prayer, reading the Word of God, and asking the Holy Spirit for help and by God’s grace.
He provides us protection as we humbly seek Him and His ways.
Reflecting on Isaiah 29, let us not be a people with hard hearts and mouth service; rather let us choose His ways.
Do you come with the reverent fear and obedience to the Lord God’s commands? Do you and I allow God, the Potter, to mold and sculpt us as we walk through trials and affliction? Can you think of a trial or affliction where you became more refined and Christ-like, and therefore, revealed His love, compassion, and forgiving nature?
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Other symbols located within the work remind us of God’s grace. The birth, the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ represent our hope through faith to eternal life; the dove represents the Holy Spirit; the throne represents the kingdom seat; and the worshiping figures that surround Christ represent the saints and heavenly host.
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” Haggai 1:4
No, let you and I seek to rebuild our inner temple. Let us kneel to our Lord and say, “Dear Lord, sweep out our sin, replace it with Your Word, and give us the desire to obey and serve you.”
Did these symbols within the painting remind you of anything that is special to you? Did you see other symbols that relate to you? I was between four 1/2 and five 1/2 years old when I accepted Jesus. Mother was holding my hand and talking to the Sunday school teacher. The Holy Spirit convicted me so deeply and clearly with the fact that I needed Jesus because of my sinful being. However, it wasn’t until the summer before high school that Jesus called me by name to serve Him and be baptized. I will never forget the encounter that day or the encounter in the church, but that is another story. Do you remember when you accepted Jesus? Were you baptized or have you put it off?
We wait in hope for Jesus Christ’s return to be clothed in that incorruptible body.
We are allowed to rebuild because Jesus provides grace received through His precious life sacrifice on the cross. We receive freedom to lift up repentive prayers, agree with God about our sin, and ask for His grace. By faith we know our victory is certain through Jesus Christ. God’s gift of grace through faith enables us to rebuild our inner temple the collective body of Christ. Remember, we belong to Jesus and nothing can take us from Him. Accepting Jesus, you are spiritually re-born and covered by grace through his blood, and have been cleansed and restored under our Lord Jesus’ robe of righteousness. You are saved.
This continuous rebuilding of our temple adds depth to our discipleship though it comes through discipline.
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. ‘ Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, ‘ and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:11-13
Oh, what an everlasting gift this eternal life with Jesus is because we belong to Him and have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.