Wednesday, February 3, 2021
“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).
Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?
The Jerusalem Temple of Christ’s earthly ministry was Herod’s Temple, named after Herod the Great who renovated and expanded Zerubbabel’s Temple built some 500 years earlier in the Books of Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah. (Attempting to kill the Christ Child, this was the King Herod who, in Matthew chapter 2, slaughtered the Bethlehem children ages two and under.) Herod’s Temple had already taken nearly 50 years to enlarge and decorate by the time of John 2:20. Construction lasted another three decades!
Mark 13:1 relates: “And as he [Jesus] went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” At the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, archaeologists have unearthed massive limestone and marble blocks forming its walls. Golden plates covered the main edifice’s entire eastern wall, so the structure shimmered with the rising sun. Ancient Jewish historian Josephus wrote, “Whatever was not overlaid with gold was purest white.” Herod the Great even donated a golden cluster of grapes—an ornament as tall as a man!
In addition to the gigantic Temple complex—a series of buildings that were a world wonder—the Jews had their rites, rituals, and ceremonies. Washing their hands several times daily, fasting throughout the week, praying for hours every day, faithfully giving alms (donations to the poor), hearing and reciting their Old Testament verses and singing the Psalms each Sabbath, physically circumcising their male babies, and so on; no other group was more pious! Yet, it was here in their main religious center where they repeatedly challenged the Son of God, especially with potentially-embarrassing trick questions (Matthew chapters 21–22; Mark chapters 11–12; Luke chapters 19–20).
Although deeply religious, they ultimately crucified—yea rather, outright murdered—Jesus their Messiah in unbelief! Calvary was neither surprising nor accidental; it was the culmination of centuries of deliberately refusing God’s words. Similarly, America’s new culture did not spring up overnight….