25: Christ suffered and died to become for us the place where we meet God

This is part 25 of 50 in a series based on the book ‘Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die’. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

Ref: John 2:19-21

There is no temple now. Jerusalem is not the center. Christ is. Do we want to see God? Jesus says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Do we want to receive God? Jesus says, “Whoever receives me receives him who sent me” (Matthew 10:40). Do we want to have the presence of God in worship? The Bible says, “Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23). Do we want to honor the Father? Jesus says, “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:23). When Christ died and rose again, the old temple was replaced by the globally accessible Christ. You may come to him without moving a muscle. He is as close as faith.

—Page 69

So that’s why there’s no temple in heaven (Revelation 21:22)…

Here’s an excerpt from a sermon by John Piper:

Jesus himself was taking the place of everything in the temple.

  • Jesus became our one and only high priest who lives forever to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). So the temple priesthood was “destroyed.”
  • Jesus offered himself and his own blood once for all to make an eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12, 25-28; 10:10-12). So all the animal sacrifices of the temple are “destroyed.”
  • When Jesus made himself the mercy seat of the temple (Romans 3:25), and made his own blood the blood of the covenant (Mark 14:24), the glory of God—the old shekinah glory of the temple—came down and rested on him and raised him from the dead (Romans 6:4). Peter says, “God raised him from the dead and gave him glory” (1 Peter 1:21). He is, as James says (2:1), “the Lord of glory.” And so the temple is no longer the place where you go to see the glory of God. Jesus is place. Destroyed and in three days raised up—Jesus is where you go to see the glory of God.

And so the temple in Jerusalem is “destroyed.” We have a new temple, a new priest, a new sacrifice, a new access to glory and fellowship with God.

It can’t get any better than that!