Filling Ezekiel’s Temple

TODAY’S READING: EZEKIEL 41-43

“Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. And the vision I saw was…just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” – Ezekiel 43:1-5

In yesterday’s post, I wrote that the vision of Ezekiel’s temple was fulfilled by Jesus Christ when he died and raised the temple, his body, three day later. And, ultimately, since we are the body of Christ, we are the third temple in Ezekiel.

In today’s reading, we see more evidence that links Ezekiel’s temple with Jesus and us. Ezekiel says that the vision of his temple is like the vision he had by the Chebar canal. I wrote in my first post on Ezekiel that the vision by the Chebar canal was a vision of Jesus’ baptism. In Jesus’ baptism, Jesus, the tabernacle of God in our midst, was the filled with the Holy Spirit, the glory of the Lord. This is why the vision by the Chebar canal is like the vision of Ezekiel’s temple. They are both about the Spirit filling with the glory of the Lord.

The language of the the glory coming and the earth shining with God’s glory reminds me of John 1.

John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Matthew 3:16 says, “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming to rest on him.”

After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, he began building his temple that was destroyed. It started with his own resurrection body that was filled with the Holy Spirit. But, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit in his disciples too. John 20:22 says, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'”

Then, the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 disciples in the upper room. Acts 2:3-4 says, “And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Finally, Paul says that we the temple that the Holy Spirit is building for a dwelling place for God. Ephesians 2:19-22 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

The New Testament is quite clear that Ezekiel’s vision of the temple is fulfilled in the body of Christ that is God’s temple, God’s dwelling place. And, in the end, this temple covers the whole earth because God will be dwelling in all people.

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