The Awesome Splendor of the Gold
Imagine with me, walking into the temple building. Immediately it is obvious that you have seen no other building like this. You gaze in awe at the glittering splendor of a building that is entirely covered within with gold. The porch, the floors, the walls, the ceiling, the furniture, the doors, the carvings—all are cloaked in gold. Nothing is seen that is not encased in it. Who could afford the price? When we read the account of the temple building, the gold covering is mentioned often. It is clear that the gold was extremely important. Gold covered everything in the building. As I pondered the significance of this, I came to realize that the gold in this building appears to be one of the richest, most marvelous pictures in the entirety of God’s word. I gaze in amazement and awe at the incredible dazzling splendor of my Savior’s sacrifice of love for me.
We have already discussed how the walls appear to be symbolic because of the carvings on them. The gold was a part of the wall, covering the entire inner surface. I think God emphasized that the gold was intended to be a part of the picture by mentioning that the gold was fastened to the walls using golden nails. It appears that for these reasons, the gold is intended to be a part of the symbolic picture. We are not told specifically what the gold meant. The author builds the case below for what he believes the gold to mean.
Do you remember how we said that it appears the wood represents that part of us that is corruptible and imperfect? God can not allow anything into His presence that is corruptible. Could it be then that perhaps the gold acted as a shield to hide the corruptible wood in the walls from the burning brightness of the glorious presence of God.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1
It is nothing less than the blood of Christ that covers our sins, takes them away, and gives us a robe of righteousness. No other material will do. The blood of Christ covers our sin entirely. There is no other way to be in the presence of God. Within the temple, you must be covered with the gold of Christ’s blood.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized that they were naked, and God made coats of skins to clothe them. It is here that we first see that a sacrifice must take place to provide a covering. The sacrifice of Christ is what provided the covering for our sins.
When we think about the gold used in the temple, we can see many ways that the gold represents a picture of the blood of Christ sacrificed for us. We must, however, realize that the physical material gold is not an adequate covering for sin and is merely used as a picture. The following verse brings this out:
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” I Peter 1:18,19
The following shows many parallels that can be drawn between the precious gold covering on the walls of the temple building and our Savior’s sacrifice:
- Gold does not tarnish or rust. The blood of Christ was a spotless sacrifice, eternal, incorruptible. As the verse above states, “without blemish and without spot.”
- The gold used in the temple was pure gold.
“So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold…” I Kings 6:21
Jesus’ blood was a pure sacrifice. He was completely free from sin.
- The gold used in the temple was perfect. Jesus’ blood was the only perfect sacrifice for sin, completely suitable to God. In 2 Chronicles 4:21, we see the gold described as “…that perfect gold” It could not be improved upon.
4. Gold is beautiful. Many people feel that gold is the most beautiful of metals. What Jesus did for us is the most beautiful thing that anyone could do for us.
5. Gold is used as a token of love. Wedding rings are made of gold. Many times people give something made of gold to someone that they love. The gift of the blood of Christ shows God’s love for us. The gift of something made of gold shows a person that you care about them. God showed us that He cares about us by giving us the most precious thing He had.
6. Gold is reflective. The sacrifice of Christ displays the beauty of our Savior and reflects His glory. It deflects the burning brightness of God’s holiness so that we are not consumed in His presence.
7. The gold was abundantly used in the temple. God has provided abundantly for our salvation. The blood of Christ was shed abundantly and is adequate to cover any and all sin.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” Titus 3:5,6
8. As the gold used in the temple was given, so was the blood of Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son…” John 3:16
9. The gold used in the temple was given by two kings. In the story of the temple building, both King David and his son King Solomon gave gold for the building of the temple. The temple was so expensive to build that it took the combined efforts of two kings. God the Father gave His Son. Jesus gave His life. Both of these Kings of the Universe gave to provide our covering.
10. Gold comes from the rock. The blood came from the Rock of our Foundation, Jesus Christ.
11. Gold is heavy. Jesus paid a heavy price.
“And he made the most holy house…and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.” 2 Chronicles 3:8
One talent weighs about 75.6 LBS.1 This puts the six hundred talent weight of gold used to overlay the smaller room called the “most holy house” at 45,360 LBS. The larger room and the very tall porch were also covered in gold, and gold was used in many other things. The total weight of all the gold was absolutely immense. We find in I Chronicles 22:14 that David had donated 100,000 talents of gold which would have been about 7,560,000 LBS. But there were many others who also donated gold including Solomon and other wealthy rulers and people in the country. The gold in the temple is only a picture. The weight of suffering that our Lord took on himself is incalculable. Christ bore the massive crushing weight of the sins of all humanity.
12. The gold used in the temple was more expensive than any one person could possibly afford. There is no one rich enough to buy salvation for themselves. It takes the riches of God’s grace.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7
13. Gold is exceptionally malleable; this means that when beaten, gold flows under the weight of the hammer’s blow. When Jesus was beaten, His blood flowed under the weight of the sin that was dropped on Him.
14. The gold used in the temple was nailed to the wooden walls.
“…and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents. And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold…” 2 Chronicles 3:8c,9a
What a vivid picture of the sacrifice of Jesus our Savior, nailed to the wooden cross!
Compare these two statements and think about them for a while:
- The Carpenter, the Master of the wood, was nailed to the cross of wood, and the wood killed Him.
- The Creator, the Master of mankind, was nailed to the cross by men, and mankind killed him.
I am the wood in the picture of the temple but I am also the cross. It is my sin that killed the Savior.
The Savior was crucified for my sin.
As the blood ran down and covered the cross, He was nailed to me to provide a bloody covering for my sin.
That precious covering will never be separated from me, for it came from the heart of the Stone, and it was nailed fast.
Now let’s look at the gold from a different perspective.
We are unified by the gold. In addition to each of us individually being the temple of God, the church is also the temple of God.
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” I Timothy 3:15
Think of each of us who are members of the church as a board standing next to other boards as we gather around our Lord. We are unified in our worship by the gold. All who are saved have the blood of Christ in common. We are all sinners whose sin is covered by the blood of Christ. There are no gaps in the covering. We are all united by one unbroken overspreading golden sheet of the love of God for us.
Do you remember how we said that the Love of Christ for the church can be compared to the love of a man for his wife? In the book of Psalms, we see the wedding of the King. The Psalmist describes a lovely woman clothed with beautiful clothing.
“The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.” Psalm 45:13
The king’s daughter seems to be a picture of the church, the bride of Christ. Notice first of all that her clothing is of wrought gold. When we think of clothing, we think of a covering. Clothes are that which covers the body. When we see that her clothing is gold, it makes us think of the gold covering the wooden walls of the temple. The word wrought, which is used here, means brocade.2 A brocade is a rich cloth with a raised design woven into it. When we think of the raised design, our mind goes to the raised carvings on the walls of the temple.
Notice that she is glorious “within”. Within the building is where the gold is. It is within our heart that the Savior dwells. Within is where the glory is. Within is what matters to God. Is your heart within you a glorious place in anticipation of the coming of the Savior? The bride in this verse is “all” glorious within. Once again we are reminded that the blood of Christ covers all and makes us totally glorious within.
What makes the Groom (Christ) desire the beauty of the bride (the church)? We see the answer here:
“Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” Psalm 45:10,11
The church is beautiful in the sight of Christ when those in the church forget about where they came from and turn their attention on admiring their Lord. Oh Christian, what is distracting you from the beautiful Savior? Can you see what He has done for us? What a beautiful golden garment of righteousness He has clothed us with, purchased with the terrible price of His own blood that He might be with us! What astounding love divine! Turn away from the meaningless trinkets of the world and focus your devotion on Him. Nothing else matters!
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10