Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Lent 2016--Day Thirty-Six
Jesus got to Jerusalem and the first place he went was to the Temple. He found the money changers and the sellers of doves and other animals for sacrifice. He made a whip and drove them out.(Matthew 21:12)
He said, "It is written, "My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves."
Solomon's Temple stood on the East side of the Old City. The highest part of the rock where it is believed the altar of burnt-offering was situated. This rock was the threshing floor of Araunah which David purchased for 600 gold shekels.
Nothing of Solomon's Temple is left. The Dome of the Rock now stands there. The Temple was rebuilt after the Exile by Ezra and Nehemiah.
The construction of Herod's Temple was begun in bce 19 and was almost completed in 10 years, but some work continued until AD 64. The building of Herod's Temple was an attempt to reconcile the Jews to an Idumaean King rather than glorify God. Efforts were made to respect the sacred area and 1000 priests were trained as masons for the work. An area about 450 meters from north to south and about 300 meters from east to west was leveled and a wall of massive blocks about a meter high was constructed.
As they left the complex, one of the disciples commented on the massive stones and the beautiful buildings. Jesus said, "Look at them! They will all be thrown down. Not one stone will be left on another."(Mark 13:1-2)
Not only Jesus would be killed, but the Temple and the city where they worshiped would be destroyed. This was more serious than they thought.