Remodeling projects usually accomplish a good thing by taking a building that has run down and changing it to improve it somehow. However, if the person that is doing the remodeling doesn’t understand how to do it right or take the time to do it right, the remodeling project can be a mess and cause all kinds of problems.
I once remodeled a house in town. A person who owned the house before me did this type of remodeling project. The previous owner added a small room at the front of the house as an entryway. Since there were two windows on the second story directly above the new entryway, rather than putting a sloped roof on that would have covered up those windows, they chose to use a flat roof. Not only is the roof flat, but it actually dips down in the middle. If it rained, there would be a puddle of water standing on the roof. This is a recipe for a leaky roof, and caused aggravation a number of times. This problem occurred because whoever did the remodeling job didn’t do the job right.
God has designed the temple a certain way for a reason. Attempting to remodel the temple to be different than He intended brings nothing but problems; because we in our own wisdom do not know what would be best. When we attempt to remodel the temple in some way to suit ourselves, it is not pleasing to God.
There are many ways that we might go about attempting to remodel the temple:
- We might want to remodel the temple to be a fire station, but God has more in store for us than just snatching us from the fires of hell.
- We might want to make it a cabin in the woods with no one else around, but we were intended to fellowship with other believers within the temple, not live in isolation.
- We might want to make the temple into a restaurant, where we can go to be fed with the Word of God and be waited on but never have to serve.
- We might want to make it into a movie theater and want nothing more from life than to be entertained.
- We might want to turn the temple into an airport where we are forever waiting to go on a trip, the rapture, but missing out on our journey through life.
- We might want to make it a tavern, but the temple was not intended for such things.
- We might want to make it a convenience store, but living for God in the temple is not usually convenient and requires sacrifice.
- We might want to make the temple a school, but ever learning without ever living what you have learned is not as the temple was intended.
We could probably go on with more examples, but the point here is that life in the temple is a balance of many things. Emphasizing one thing too much, or doing the wrong things throws something out of balance; and then suddenly we are not accomplishing the function that God intended us to accomplish.
There are several instances in Scripture of the temple being remodeled without authorization from God.
Manasseh, mixing the holy with the profane. Throughout the years after Solomon was king, instead of repenting of their sin, Israel fell deeper and deeper into idolatry. It seems as though you can almost track the spiritual condition of Israel by the condition of the temple building. The temple was stripped of its treasures and the building fell into disrepair. It seems as if each new king was worse than the king before him. There was a king whose name was Manasseh who committed much evil. He actually built altars to false gods in the temple. He performed human sacrifice, burning children alive. He was involved in witchcraft and the occult. One particularly sinful act that he committed is described as follows:
“And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:” II Chronicles 33:7
God would not be glorified in putting His name on a temple where idol worship was practiced. God is a holy God; He does not allow worship of Him to be mixed with worship of something else. Is each of our lives a holy place, dedicated to the worship of God alone? How often do we bring something else into the temple of God that we make an idol in our lives? Perhaps our idol is something we must have, or maybe it’s something we must to do, or maybe it’s some desire of the flesh that we feel we must satisfy. When God is given second place, that thing is an idol. What would you not freely give to Jesus? What part of your heart would you like to hide from Him so that you can keep it? That thing is an idol in your life.
When I was growing up on the farm, we had a collie dog with long hair. Whenever we would work with the livestock, he would run back and forth outside of the fence all excited about what was happening, wanting to chase the livestock. There was no reason for him to run around like that; he could have stood still and had a great view of what was happening. When it was raining, the ground would get all muddy from his running back and forth; and his belly would become completely covered in mud. At that point, he was about the ugliest thing you could imagine. I would have been in big trouble if I had let him into the house!
Do we run back and forth in the vanity of the filth of the world and then bring that mud into the temple? What do we let into God’s house? Turn away from that which would defile the temple, and live a pure life in the presence of God. Are you careful about what you bring into the temple as you watch television? Those who flip back and forth between channels remind me of that old dog that ran back and forth wanting to see everything there was to see, wanting to chase after the things of the world, getting filthier and filthier the whole time. Is God pleased with someone tracking filth into His house?
For some, the sin of polluting the temple may be a matter of rubber stamping a wrong belief. Churches that have mixed the profanity of lies in their false doctrines with the truth of God’s Word have polluted the temple and deceived people into thinking a lie is truth. Those who believe in a lie are believing in and trusting something less than Christ. If your church does not teach the truth as defined by the Scriptures, then find a church “temple” where you can worship in truth with other believers.
“And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.” II Chronicles 33:10
When God speaks to us about something, we need to listen and obey the voice of the Lord. The consequences may not be very pleasant if we do not obey. Manasseh was captured by his enemies, and carried off to Babylon.
“And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God…And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.” II Chronicles 33:12,13,15
There were several things that God used to turn Manasseh’s life around and bring him into fellowship with God. God often uses these same tools in our lives when we stray from Him.
- God brought affliction into his life so that he might turn to God for help. God may bring difficult times into our lives for the same reason. Although the affliction may seem to be a bad thing, God may have brought it into our lives because He cares about us. God may be using some difficult thing as one of His tools to cause you to turn to Him. Manasseh was a King. This type of high position tends to make one proud of one’s power. He had lived as he pleased. God brought him low and made him helpless. We might think that we have our life under control and that we in our own strength can handle whatever may come. Even though we may think we are strong like a king, God can easily change our circumstances to suit His plan for us. If we are not relying on God’s strength, we are in reality weak.
- Manasseh responded with humility. In his affliction, Manasseh began to get an understanding of who God really is. Manasseh no longer viewed himself as a lofty king who could do anything he pleased; but as a sinner in need of forgiveness, a miserable wretch whose only hope was that God might have mercy on him.
- Manasseh prayed to God with supplication. This means that he pleaded with God. This is a powerful way to pray when we desperately need God’s help. Manasseh humbled himself, and God saw what had happened in Manasseh’s heart.
- God did what seemed unlikely. Even though Manasseh had sinned horribly, God forgave him. God displayed His wonderful goodness and restored him. God is always ready to forgive us and restore fellowship with us when we turn to Him.
- Manasseh gained a proper understanding of who God was. He now knew that God was his Master, that God was in control, and that God was merciful. Manasseh knew that he was weak, but God was strong. He knew that God would judge him for the things he did. The way to cleansing is to see who God is. When we understand who God is, we will see ourselves for what we really are. Then we are ready for the cleansing that God can provide.
- He quit sinning. Manasseh cleaned out all the filthy idols from the temple and cast them out of the city. We need to rid ourselves of anything that would pollute the temple and come between God and us.
- He began to serve the Lord. He repaired the altar of the Lord, offered sacrifices, and commanded his people to serve the Lord. When we are right with God we will want to serve Him. We will want to give to Him. We will want to encourage others to serve the Lord as well.
Manasseh’s story shows how badly we can mess things up when we try to remodel the temple ourselves. It also demonstrates the amazing skill and patience of the carpenter. He can repair lives that to men look hopeless.
The next remodeling project that we are going to look at is found in the book of Ezekiel. We have already examined this story in an earlier chapter when we explored the meaning of the repulsive carvings and how they help us understand the pleasant carvings. Ezekiel was a prophet of God who was shown a vision about what the temple looked like in God’s eyes. God’s people had become engrossed in their sin and had turned away from Him.
God gave Ezekiel a look at the walls of the temple, in other words the spiritual condition of the people, as God saw them at that time. Listen as Ezekiel describes what he saw.
“And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.” Ezekiel 8:7-10
First of all, notice that instead of being strong, the walls were crumbling and decaying to the point that one could dig in them. Do you remember what we said about mankind when he was created, that he was made of two components, dust and the breath of God? When men do evil they are tending to become like the dust component of their being. Instead of becoming strong like Christ the cornerstone, these men were becoming weak like dust. The wall had a hole in it. There was no integrity.
We looked at how in contrast to the pleasant things that God had intended to be on the walls of the temple, the walls instead ended up having creeping things, abominable (or filthy) beasts, and idols on them. Doesn’t the description sound more like a house of horrors than the house of God? Doesn’t it make you shudder just to think about it, the walls writhing with these disgusting images? Can you imagine if the walls of your house looked like that? Not very appealing, is it? We get upset when we see one cockroach or centipede. Imagine our reaction if the walls were covered with such things.
“Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery?…” Ezekiel 8:12a
The people who God was looking at here were the “ancients of Israel.” They were the older men who should have known better. They should have been wise enough not to have been involved in what they were doing.
These men were doing their wickedness in the dark. Apparently they thought that God would not see them. Instead of seeking God and desiring a relationship with Him, they were trying to hide from God. It does not matter where we are, or what we are doing, God can dig through the walls that we put up to keep Him away; He can open the door that we had hoped would deny Him access. His eyes easily pierce through the darkness. There is no hiding from Him. He sees all. What do you do when there is no one around? God is there watching.
It is interesting how John talks about Jesus as the light:
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:4, 5, 9
The light reveals the truth about what is going on. God’s light shines even into the hearts of men to reveal what they are truly like. When Ezekiel was shown why the carvings were repugnant, one of the things that he was shown were people worshipping the sun right in front of the main door to the temple building. These men, who were worshipping the sun, though it seemed to them that the sun had such power in its light, did not realize what an immense infinite Power was right behind them. God created uncountable billions upon billions of suns when He created the universe. It is true that Jesus is like the sun in many ways. Without the sun there is no light. Without the sun, there is no life. The sun lights every man that is on the earth. We even see Jesus referred to as the Sun of Righteousness in Malachi 4:2. “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…” These men were worshipping the wrong sun. They should have been worshipping the Sun of Righteousness. Jesus is the only true God. He is the true light. Nothing and no one is worthy of worship, except Jesus, the one God.
If God were to look at the carving of your life today, what would He see? If God were to peer into the innermost room of your heart, would He see a bunch of creepy bugs crawling on the walls; would He see filthy beasts and idols; or would He see something pleasant and beautiful? Have you yielded to the hand of the Master Carpenter that He might carve you into the image of Christ for the glory of God?
Because of the repulsive things that were being done in Israel at this time, God withdrew His glory from the temple building. Ezekiel watched as the glory of God went out of the door of the temple toward the East, to the Mount of Olives, and then went up to heaven. God would not compromise His holiness by remaining in the midst of such corruption.
Since we are the temple of God today, do we need to worry about God leaving us if we sin? No, God has promised that His presence will not depart from us. We can be sure of this because He has said:
“…..I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
In the Greek, this literally says:
“I will never, no not ever, no never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
Sounds as if God means it, doesn’t it?
Today, instead of leaving the temple if sin is present, God works to drive the sin out of our lives and cleanse the temple.
“And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Mark 11:15-17
The currency that was in circulation in Israel at this time was Roman because the Romans had political control over Israel. Roman money could not be given in the temple because it was from a Gentile country and was considered to be unclean. If people wanted to give money to God in the temple, they had to first exchange the Roman money that they had for Jewish money. The moneychangers who provided this service were dishonest and stole from the people by using an unfair exchange rate. Since people then did not give as much as they would have if the exchange rate had been fair, the moneychangers had in effect stolen from God.
God wants our lives to glorify Him. Remember how we said at the start of this book that Jesus is the focus of the temple, and the temple building’s function is to display Him in a dramatic and pleasing way. Jesus is the picture; we are to be the frame that makes Him look good.
Anything that we do that does not make God look good does not glorify God. When we practice sin; when we try to make ourselves look good instead of God; when we serve ourselves instead of God; when we hold back what is rightfully His as the offering plate goes by; when we refuse to be obedient; we are robbing God of His glory. By robbing God’s glory from Him, we are polluting the temple in much the same way as these moneychangers did. God does not sit idly by and let us rob glory from Him. He springs into action and sets to work cleansing the temple. There may be many ways that He brings this about, but you can be sure that He will probably bring some confusion into your life. He might knock over some tables. He might dump your money on the floor. He might knock you off your seat so that you’ll get off your seat and do something to glorify Him. He might upset your life to make you to be clean.
When Jesus cleansed the temple, He did not let anyone carry a vessel through the temple. People had been going through the temple as a short cut so that they wouldn’t have to walk as far as they would have if they had gone around. People had been carrying their things through the temple as if it were a street. They had no respect for the holiness of the place, or for the worship that was to be taking place there. How often do we let the burdens that we carry around in our lives rob God of the worship that we should be having for Him? Do we let the temple become a common place, or do we reverence the holiness of God, who dwells in our hearts? What do we carry into His presence? Is it always just our burdens, or do we bring Him gifts sometimes? Do we just pass through quickly when we are in God’s presence, or do we stay a while to worship?
Jesus said that His house should be called a house of prayer. It is not until the temple is cleansed that we can come before God in prayer. What sin are you carrying around that you need to drop and ask God to cleanse from your heart? It seems that so often our lives are so full of other things, common burdens that we carry through the temple, that it is easy to forget to pray, but God’s house is to be a house of prayer. Talking with God should be what we do. It should be a frequent activity of our day, walking with God in the temple, the house of prayer.
If we refuse to allow God to cleanse our hearts and lives; if we insist on defiling the temple with sin as did the people Ezekiel saw; and if we refuse to let the Carpenter shape us to be something beautiful in His sight, but instead insist on becoming repulsive in God’s sight; then God will destroy the temple. He will not allow His holiness to be compromised. He will not let us rob Him of the glory He deserves from our lives.
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” I Corinthians 3:17
This does not mean that you can lose your salvation if you defile the temple, but God may end your life prematurely. Yield to the hand of the Master today, and let Him carve your life into something beautiful in His sight.
The first part of this chapter has dealt with the remodeling projects that man has done in the temple. The second half of this chapter will deal with the type of remodeling projects that God has done in the temple. We will look at two of these. They are both wonderful works of grace.
Let us consider the first remodeling project that the Master Carpenter accomplished in the temple. The temple consisted of the main building surrounded by various courts. The outermost court was called the court of the Gentiles. This court had a low wall in it beyond which Gentiles were not allowed to pass. There were signs posted along this wall that warned Gentiles not to enter and that the penalty for doing so was death. For many years, God had dealt with primarily the Jews, and they had many advantages in being able to know God more closely. Look at what the following verse says about Gentiles:
“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” Ephesians 2:12
Gentiles were held at a distance from God and from His chosen people, and as a result, they had no hope, being without God.
The city of Berlin was divided by a wall for many years after World War II. Anyone trying to pass over the wall would be shot. Then one of America’s greatest presidents, Ronald Reagan, bravely stood at the Berlin wall one day and in a historic speech said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Many people thought the President was crazy. Many thought that this could never happen, but by his leadership, and with God’s help, the result was that millions of people who had never known freedom were soon set free.
Jesus Christ, the greatest leader of all time, one day boldly stood before the Jews and declared in a similar way, “…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 Many thought that Jesus was crazy. No one could understand how he could accomplish such a feat. It had taken 46 years to build the temple. But Jesus was speaking of the temple of His body, and it did happen. As a result of Christ’s great work of love, the whole world which until then was in bondage to Satan was given the chance to be free from the tyranny of sin.
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” Ephesians 2:13, 14
Jesus died for all men, not just the Jews. In doing so, He provided access to God for all men. The wall that held the Gentiles far away from God was symbolically broken down by the sacrifice of Christ. God will tear down any wall to bring us close to Himself. Not only could anyone now approach God, but those who did, and chose to be in Christ were made a dwelling place for God.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God…Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone…In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22
There was a second remodeling project that God accomplished in the temple. The veil was a curtain that went between the Holy Place and the most Holy Place where the Ark of the Covenant rested. The veil was composed of four colors with cherubim embroidered on it. The cherubim, which obviously were not real cherubim, indicate that the veil was intended to be symbolic. Although we are not specifically told what the colors mean, it seems likely that the four colors represent the four aspects of Christ as we saw in the carvings and in the cherubim. One color was blue. The blue seems to stand for Christ as God. It reminds us of the eagle and the cherubim soaring in the sky. A second color of the curtain was purple. The purple layer seems to stand for Christ the King. Purple was a very expensive dye in those days and could only be afforded by a King. The next was crimson. The crimson in the curtain appears to stand for Christ the man who came to be our Savior. The crimson reminds us of the love He has for us, and the blood that was sacrificed for us. Finally there was fine twined linen. This plain white color reminds us of Christ the servant.
The veil had cherubim skillfully embroidered into it. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were driven from the garden of Eden and cherubim were put in place to guard the garden. The cherubim were to keep Adam and Eve out so that they could not get to the tree of life. They had to be prevented from eating the fruit of the tree of life and living forever in their sin. The cherubim had a flaming sword that turned every way. No one could get past them. The cherubim on the curtain probably represent a similar thing. The cherubim were there on the curtain to guard the holy of holies. No one was to go into the holy of holies other than the high priest and he could only go once per year. Anyone else who attempted to enter would have died. No one could get past. Perhaps the cherubim on the curtain may have been depicted with a flaming sword that turned every way. It is quite possible that the cherubim on the curtain are a way for us to glimpse the cherubim which were there in reality invisibly guarding the holy of holies.
When Christ died on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. You might think that it is quite a strange remodeling project to tear this beautiful tapestry curtain, but in reality it was an improvement that only God could make.
Within the holiest place there were three items, which were the Ark of the Covenant with the mercy seat on top and two massive statues of cherubim. These two cherubim stood so that one touched the left wall with one of his wings, the other cherubim touched the right wall with one of his wings, and their other wings touched in the middle of the room. As we imagine what this might have looked like, we see these two massive creatures whose wings span the full width of the room and touch in the middle. These statues are much mightier cherubim than the ones depicted on the walls. We, as the wall, can look like these cherubim, but never approach their size. Our carvings can never be free standing statues as these are. We are not as multi-dimensional. We do not have the all-encompassing presence that they have as they span the entire building. These cherubim are something special. These cherubim seem to signify that the presence of God filled the entire room in this very special place. The trinity of God dwelled in the holiest place which was behind the veil. All three persons of the trinity met within the Holy of Holies. As the cherubim spanned the entire room, God’s presence completely filled the room.
No priest who entered the holy place could go beyond the veil and into God’s presence. Only the high priest was allowed to go beyond the veil once a year with the blood of atonement. Mankind had to be kept away from God’s holy presence because God’s holiness demanded that any person who came into His presence without being holy would be killed. Mankind had sinned and God had placed the veil between man and Himself for man’s protection; God did not want man to die. Notice how God did not build a wall, but a temporary curtain. God did not want the veil to be a permanent separation, but something that He was planning to remove.
“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” Matthew 27:50, 51
Many have taught that it was Jesus who ripped the veil in victory, but could it be that it was actually God the Father who tore the curtain? We are not told for certain, but consider the following:
There were two different occasions where Christ cleansed the temple. Jesus spoke these Words as He cleansed the temple the first time:
“And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” John 2:16
Notice that Jesus calls the temple His Father’s house. About a week before He was crucified, Jesus went into the temple and cleansed it again. One of the worst aspects of the crucifixion was that Jesus was separated from His Father. Jesus certainly couldn’t go anywhere, having been nailed to the cross. It seems that it must have been God the Father, then, who left the presence of Jesus. Where did God the Father go to be separated from the presence of His Son? Could it be that the Father went into His house, the temple, during those terrible hours? Could it be that one reason the Son had cleansed the temple a week earlier was that His Father would be residing there during His crucifixion, and He was preparing the temple for the holy presence of God the Father?
Do you remember the story about Abraham when he was approaching the place where he was going to offer up Isaac? Isaac asked where the sacrifice was “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb…” (Genesis 22:8) Jesus was the Lamb that God provided. Abraham was a picture of God the Father. God the Father did not stop the knife as He did for Abraham, but plunged it into the heart of His Son, His only Son, whom He loved. The curtain represents Jesus. God the Father, in this picture, tore His Son, His only Son, whom He loved, in two to get to us. He ripped His Son’s body away from His soul. What a jolting picture of the love God the Father has for us that He would do this. He restrained Himself from tearing those in two who were crucifying His Son, and as a result allowed His own Son to be murdered.
Let’s look at this from a different perspective now. Think of the veil as a covering, a cloak. In the culture of the time, whenever people were terribly upset or sad, what did they do? They tore their coat. Can we see here then the picture of a Father, whose Son had just died, rending His covering, His clothes so to speak, in agony of Spirit?
When I was growing up on the farm, and was in about the sixth grade, a neighbor of ours about a mile away had a son who was a year or two older than I was. The man, who was a farmer, was making silage to feed his cattle. The silo was nearly full, and the man was up in the silo leveling it off as his son was running the blower and the wagon down below. I don’t know if you know what a silage wagon is like, but there are conveyors inside to move the silage, as well as beaters with spikes on them that spin around at the front to knock the clumps of silage loose and down into the conveyor. Something got plugged up in the wagon. The man looked out to see what was going on because the silage stopped coming up before it should have. What he saw was awful. While attempting to knock the silage loose, somehow the teen got caught in the beater bars. The man glimpsed his son being torn to pieces by the machinery. He rushed down the ladder on the side of the silo in an absolute frenzy and leapt off the silo from nearly half way up, but it was too late, he couldn’t reach his son in time. He knew what was happening, but couldn’t stop it.
What God the Father went through was worse. He knew His Son would be torn apart by the cruel machinery of sin and could have stopped it, but He did not; He willed that He would not because to do so would have doomed all of mankind. The Father forced Himself, somehow, to turn His back on His Son and forsake Him as mankind was murdering His Son. How impossibly difficult, what infinite meekness, what incredible restraint, was displayed by the Father in not tearing the world apart instead of His Son in that moment! Nothing but His incredible love for us kept the Father from uttering the words that would have freed His Son and hurled the world into the sun. The Father loves us more than we will EVER, EVER, be able to comprehend!
Can you imagine the pain in the Father’s heart, knowing this horrifying death was coming upon His Son, knowing full well that it would have been easy for Him to rescue His Son, but having to restrain Himself somehow? By using every ounce of His own omnipotent will, He had locked Himself in the self-imposed prison of the holy of holies. Now it was finished, and He just wanted out. He tore the heavy curtain as nothing and rushed to His Son’s side.
- Because of this incredible remodeling project, anyone who trusts in Jesus can come into God’s house.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Consider the remodeling project that Manasseh did. He placed false gods into the temple. God had him carried away into a far country. When the men in Ezekiel’s day committed sin that made the temple repulsive to God inside, God chose to withdraw his glory from the temple. When the moneychangers perverted the use of the temple, Jesus drove them away. These were the remodeling projects as man had done them, all in some way moving mankind farther away from God.
In contrast, when God remodeled the temple, He did it with the purpose of bringing mankind close to Him at ANY cost! God removes barriers that keep us from Him. The veil was torn in two, and we can now come directly to God. The wall of partition was broken down and now all men, even Gentiles, can come to God. God has proven that He will go to any length to love us even to the point of letting His own body be torn down. He has made drastic changes to accommodate us as a part of His dwelling place. God wants everyone who will repent and trust in Him to come to Him today through the Way that He has made.