Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jesus as Temple: James Jordan

In His book "Through New Eyes", Jordan addresses a massive amount of symbolism in Scripture, including a blindsiding piece on the gospel of John presenting Christ as the New Temple. Most of what follows is taken from his book, pages 267-269, compressed brutally.

He starts with the laver, so the first five chapters speak of water: baptism of John the Forerunner, water into wine, the "cleansing" of the Temple, the new birth (water and spirit), John's baptism, the Samaritan woman at the well, the resurrection of the dead boy (at Cana, where water into wine took place, as well as the washings that were necessary when being cleansed from death: third and seventh day), and the pool of Bethesda in John 5 ends this section.

He then turns to the Table of Showbread: John 6 has Jesus feeding the five thousand, calling Himself the Bread of Life, declaring that if we will not eat of His Flesh and drink of His Blood we can have no part in Him; in John 7 He presents Himself as the drink of life (remember the libations that went with the showbread and meal offerings).

Then we are at the Lampstand. In John 8 we find that Christ is the Light of the world, in chapter 9 He heals a blind man, and in chapter 10 He is the Good Shepherd (connected to David, who is repeatedly referred to as a light, as well as the connection between the shepherd's voice calling to his sheep and the light in a dark place). 11 moves on to Lazarus, and we are told that Christ had to call him out of darkness and sleep into light and day. In John 12 Christ says that those who would not believe in Him were blind, but those who did believe would become sons of light.

Then we repeat, but go further. He washes the disciple's feet, breaks bread with them, and speaks of the Holy Spirit (the archetype for the seven lamps in the Tabernacle) in chapters 13-16.

Then comes the High Priest's prayer at the altar of incense in chapter 17.

Now we travel yet "further up and further in": His death is the sacrifice as well as the ultimate Yom Kippur, and He Is the High Priest who takes the blood into the Most Holy. His resurrection is the High Priest returning from the Most Holy place alive, which means that God had accepted the sacrifice. Also, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest wore a simple linen garment. This is the garment Peter encounters in the tomb in chapter 20, as Christ has returned to His glorified state. The two angels in verse 12 speak, as Pink brilliantly comments, of the mercy-seat in Exodus 25: two cherubim, one at either end of God's throne; two angels, one at the head and one at the feet.

We now turn to Eden, the original Temple where the first sacrifice took place: outside the tomb was a garden, reminiscent of the garden symbolism so prevalent in the Temple, and Christ is the New Gardener, the New Adam Who kept His garden safe and died on a tree, was placed in the dust, traveled to the domain where "the worm (serpent) does not die", and returned, reversing the curse by taking the entirety of it upon Himself. We remain in Eden and find Gen. 2:7 in John 20:22, and the naked Adam hiding in the garden is found in the naked Peter hiding in the sea; Adam named the animals, the apostles are to feed Christ's sheep. Christ wore the Old Covenant in His death, and His resurrection has created a new heavens and a new earth, "in which righteousness dwells" (see Second Peter and Isaiah 65).

2 comments:

BJ Stockman said...

Excellent post Jesse. The temple has been a topic of interest to me as of late.

I commend to you GK Beale's
"The Temple and the Church's Mission". Not only does this book show Christ as temple but Christ making His people temple and bringing about the Day when the entire cosmos will be the temple of God. Beale argues that the tabernacling presence of God reaches its consummate form where the One who is the Temple makes His Bride and all of Creation --Temple.

Do a search in my blog for GK Beale and you'll find some links of note to lectures and books etc.

Livvy said...

Good for people to know.

Wodehousian Fun