Jesus in the Gospels (3)

Clearing the temple

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at the tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:13 – 15, NIV. The phrase “in the temple courts” above, reads “in the temple,” in the Greek, it does not say “in the temple courts.” However, these were not in the temple building. The entire area surrounding the temple was ‘most holy.’ Therefore, the temple with the whole area around it was the “temple” for the Jews. Ezekiel 43:12. Being in the court was the same as being in the temple. However, only the priest could enter into the temple building. When reading this passage, we should concentrate on the message in it, not on chronology or physical location.

By clearing the temple area, Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures, as foretold in Psalm 69:9. Jesus here made a critical point, mainly, He is a High Priest of a higher order than the priests who descended from Arron. The high priesthood, according to the order of Arron was an inherited function, and therefore, the earthly high priest, could not be a high priest forever. Jesus did not inherit the High Priesthood; He was designated by God to be the ‘High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.’ Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6. The High Priest in the order of Melchizedek does not inherit the function, and there is no successor to Him. Also, the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek did not serve in the temple made by the human hands. Jesus, the High Priest, served in His body, the temple built by God.

The chief function of high priest according to the order of Arron was to, once a year, symbolically remove the sins of the people. He did so by confessing the sins of the people onto the ‘scapegoat.’ Leviticus 16:21, 22. In contrast, Jesus, as the High Priest ‘in the order of Melchizedek,’ actually removed the sin of humankind forever. He accomplished it in  His body on the cross at Golgotha. “But the temple he had spoken off was his body.” John 2:21, NIV. God removed our sin from us by making Jesus sin, NOT a sinner, on the cross at Golgotha. 2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV. The sinful life of humankind and the sin itself died forever, in the body of Jesus Christ, on the cross at Golgotha. Also, our inclination to sin, our iniquity, was laid on Jesus and therefore, it too died forever. Isaiah 53:6.

Jesus, our scapegoat, took our sin into the eternal abyss, by suffering the separation from the Father, the second death. Our sins cannot come back and be counted against us ever! Jesus, our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, officiating in His body, removed from us our sin, which separated us from God the Father. He accomplished this once for all time, no need to repeat it. He did it, not by serving in a physical temple but in His body that God prepared for Him. He accomplished it on the cross at Golgotha. Thus, Jesus took our sins to the Golgotha; He did not take them to heaven. Hebrews 5:10; 9:24; 1 Peter 3:18.

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Dan Lazich

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