Today you should read: Ezekiel 40
My wife and I had the opportunity to go on a cruise several years ago. Months before our venture to Tampa to board the ship, we learned about everything we could about the boat. We looked at pictures, we read stats, we were looking forward to several of the amenities and having a nice relaxing vacation.
As we approached the port, I remember looking at a building that was several stories high, like a hotel or condo. Above and behind that building was a smoke-stack of the cruise ship we would soon be boarding. My jaw dropped. Eventually, we turned a corner and got a good look at the ship. My jaw dropped further. It was the biggest ship I had ever seen until that point and I was about to go into the belly of this floating city.
If you have a very good imagination, Ezekiel 40 is an exciting chapter. However, for most of us, it’s like looking at pictures and reading statistics about a cruise ship that we hope to one day see. We get excited, in a detached sort of way, because have a vague sense that it will be a good time. It’s hard for us to imagine the awesome, jaw-dropping splendor of the temple constructed after the return of Christ. We can confidently say, however, that a cruise ship will pale in comparison.
Since pictures are worth 1,508 words (Yes, that’s how many words are in Ezekiel 40), check out this 3D rendering.
There is no significant exegetical insight that I have that I can throw your way regarding our passage. However, it gets much more exciting as we consider the timeframe with which we’re working. This passage was not literally fulfilled when the exiles returned and Zerubbabel rebuilt the Temple-bable. We could interpret this passage figuratively, but that seems silly since Ezekiel’s bronze tour guide was walking around with a measuring stick. Plus, considering the events leading up to this passage, it seems best to conclude that Ezekiel 40 describes the reconstruction of the Temple in the Millennial kingdom after Christ’s return (Revelation 20:1–6).
The Millennial kingdom does not represent our eternal hope, that’s the New Creation—the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21). However, it refers to the time when Christ returns, crushes the enemies of God (Revelation 19, Psalm 2), and reigns over the Earth for 1,000 years. This is the ultimate fulfillment of Deuteronomy 30, and the fact that people from all nations will experience salvation through Christ, it’s part of the blessing that was promised to Abraham back in Genesis 12.
Today’s passage is a picture beginning the final restoration—the last act before Creation enters eternity. Don’t get hung up on the cubits. Get excited that God’s Word is consistent and that God fulfills His promises.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate
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