Don’t Miss the Point
Today’s reading: Exodus 37-38; Matthew 23:26-39
Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. Exodus 37:1a
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Matthew 23:37
There is a great irony between the events of these two passages separated as they are by many centuries.
In Exodus, we find Bezalel skillfully making the tabernacle and the furnishings which go in it. It will be the center of Israelite worship from the time of Moses until King Solomon builds a real temple in Jerusalem. The tabernacle was a temporary replica of Solomon’s temple which would be a temporary replica of the true temple in heaven.
Despite the terms “temporary” and “replica” there is a sense of excitement about the building of the tabernacle and, later, the temple. There is a hopefulness that these earthly constructions will point us to eternal truth and the one, true God. There is an anticipation of God-honoring worship which would be offered here.
But what happened to all this expectancy and hopefulness?
When Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, came to Jerusalem and to the temple, He found not God-honoring worship, nor spiritually hungry people, but hypocritical Pharisees, descendents of their prophet murdering forefathers. They strained to appear righteous but failed to see that their hearts were no different than those who had gone before them. They missed the message that the tabernacle and the temple were meant to teach them: God is holy and unapproachable by Man in his fallen condition, a sacrifice is necessary, and God in His mercy will offer His own Son as the only final, acceptable offering for the sin of the world. Ironically, these same Pharisees along with the High Priest, the Sanhedrin, and Pontus Pilate were about to collude to crucify the Son of God proving the truth of Jesus’ words.
The Pharisees missed the point. Let us beware that we do not miss it, too.