In 1000 BC Solomon built a temple in Jerusalem. A lot of time and work went into it at great cost (1 Kings 5-6). The idea was: Only the best was good enough for the “house” of God. God had to be glorified by the temple. This has also been the motive for the building of very impressive churches and cathedrals through the ages, like the one, for example, in Milan. Inside the temple there was a curtain. In the temple only some priests were allowed in the “most sacred” section behind the curtain. At Jesus’ death on the cross, the curtain tore: With a loud cry Jesus died. The curtain hanging in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Mark 15:37-38). The meaning hereof is that anyone whose sins have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus, has access to God, the Holy of holies: We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh (Heb. 10:19- 20).
Jesus told his disciples that He would “leave”, but that He would send Someone, namely God the Holy Spirit, the One who shall comfort us, make us children of the Father, lead and teach us and who shall, together with the Father and the Son, always be with us: And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter (Helper), so that He may be with you forever, … But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you (John 14:16, 26).
When we celebrate Pentecost we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit: When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. … They were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1, 4). If we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is in us, then our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Paul writes: Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? (1 Cor. 6:19). And if we are temples of the Holy Spirit, we must also agree: “Only the best is good enough for this ‘house’ of God.” We glorify God through that which the Holy Spirit accomplishes in us: But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
Our bodies can only be temples of the Holy Spirit if we are reconciled to God. When Jesus died on the cross, reconciliation had become possible – the curtain which separated us from God tore from the top to the bottom. It tore from the “top” because God did that.
In 70 AD the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed during an invasion by the Romans. It has never been rebuilt. Now the bodies of believers are the temples of the Holy Spirit – temples that glorify God.
Our heavenly Father, thank you that we can believe that we have been reconciled to You. Help us so that our bodies may be temples which radiate your glory. Amen