So this broke my heart this morning.
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him. – Matthew 26:3-4
From what I can tell, while the Second Temple stood, until 70 AD, this hall of the high priest, where the Sanhedrin met, was located in the temple. I can’t be completely sure, but I think this is the place they met.
My heart was drawn back to the dedication of Solomon’s temple.
David had this great idea. I’m going to build a house for God. God liked the idea, but would not let David the warrior build it. David was a warrior from His youth, and God wanted His house built by a man of peace.
When Solomon finished the building of this house for God, He showed up. He filled the temple with His glory, and promises were made.
It’s a wonderful passage. It’s a few verses, but worth reading. The offer God makes to Solomon is staggering when you think about it.
Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. “For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. – 2 Chronicles 7:12-16 NASB
The passage goes on to make promises and layout conditions, but essentially, God promises Solomon and Israel, as long as you walk with Me, I’ll be your God, a Father to you, and care for you.
I know this temple was destroyed, and the temple we see in the Gospels was rebuilt in the days of Ezra. No such promises are made, no such glory is imparted, but God was in the rebuilding.
The ark of the covenant is in this temple. The holy of holies is considered the dwelling place of the Most High God. It’s in this temple that Zacheriah meets with Gabriel. It’s here the Messiah is dedicated as an infant.
But here in Matthew 26, these High Priests and elders of the people plan out the murder of God’s own Son.
David’s great temple, a place for God to dwell among His people has fallen so far from it’s place of glory. Rather than a house of prayer where God’s people could come and cry out for God’s mercy, and He would hear and answer and forgive, it’s been usurped by those who would cry out “No God for me,” and “We will not have this man to rule over us.”
It so saddens me.
And it warns my heart.
How easy it is to take our own temples, the heart we once dedicated as a dwelling place for the Most High, and allow it to house sedition and betrayal. We allow the unclean into the holy of holies. It comes in through the eye gates and ear gates and settles in the halls of the high priest.
The hall of the high priest–that place designed for intercession and worship–for righteous judgment–turned into a place of darkness and secrecy–a place hidden from the light of day. The secret place turned it a place of secrets.
Lord, clean the temple of my heart today. Bring the light of Your presence into the corners where I’ve let darkness prevail. Flood this dwelling place with your presence as You did when Solomon invited You into the temple he built centuries ago.
Have your way in me today.
See you again soon,