Isaiah 64:1-10 1- “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, 2- s [when] the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, [that] the nations may tremble at thy presence! 3- When thou didst terrible things [which] we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. 4- For since the beginning of the world [men] have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, [what] he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. 5- Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, [those that] remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. 6- But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7- And [there is] none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8- But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand. 9- Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we [are] all thy people. 10- Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.”
“All our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags”
Matthew 22:16 “And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any [man]: for thou regardest not the person of men.”
Mark 3:6 “And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.”
Mark 12:13 “And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in [his] words.”
Herodians where akin to the Sadducees; worshipers of Herod as the Messiah.
-Herod’s Temple covered 20% of Jerusalem.
-The floors were marble
-The walls were beautiful white limestone
-Many of its interior walls were paved in solid gold.
- As many as 17,000 priests served at the temple
In all of its beauty, Herod’s temple revealed something about the people’s relationship with God.
It also said something about the people’s relationship with each other.
If I were to pick one word to describe that statement, it would be “separation.”
There was separation between God and man, man and man, and even woman and man.
The temple was divided into three courts;
- The outer court was called the court of the Gentiles.
--A sign at the entrance to the second court of the temple
warned foreigners not to enter, under the penalty of death.
Those who were not descendents of Abraham, the uncircumcised, or those who did not keep the Torah could not enter the second court.
If they tried to enter, they would be stoned to death.
The Romans did not allow the Jews to carry out capital punishment except for this one offence.
This second, or center, court was divided into three sub-courts.
1-There was the court of women.
Like the name implies, Jewish women could go here as well as men and children.
2-The court of Israel, and only Jewish men could go in there.
3-Was the court of the priests. You had to be a priest to enter here.
Beyond the second court was the Holiest of Holies.
The Gentiles had their court.
The Jews had their court.
The Holiest of Holies was God’s court. Only He could dwell here.
It was surrounded by a veil so thick that a team of oxen could not tear it
No one except the high priest could enter the Holiest of Holies,
And he could do it only once a year at the Feast of Atonement.
If a Gentile went into the court of the Jews, man would kill him.
If a person went into the Holiest of Holies unlawfully, God would
The temple was a picture of the relationship between God and
man and between man and man before Christ came.
There was separation in every place.
There was separation between God and man, Jew and Gentile, and even man and woman.
Yet, Jesus, by dying and rising from the grave, tore down all of these walls
Ephesians 2:11-14, 19 “Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12- That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13- But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14- For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; 19- Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;”
Middle wall that Paul was talking about was the wall between the Gentiles and the Jews in Herod’s Temple.
Paul’s word use in verse 19 was deliberate: “no more foreigners”.
Galatians 3:26-28 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27- For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28- There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29- nd if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Here Paul demonstrates that the divisions within the Holy Place are removed.
In Jesus’ day men were considered more righteous than women simply by virtue of their gender.
Jewish men were called the “Sons of Abraham” and Jewish women, the
“Daughters of Eve.”
Men did not talk to women in public—it was considered beneath them.
In our day we don’t realize how radical Jesus was in these matters.
Jesus was the first to call women the “Daughters of Abraham.”
I Peter 2:9 “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
The wall between the court of the priesthood and the other courts is also removed in Christ.
Under the Old Covenant only those of the tribe of Levi were to serve as priests.
Hebrews 4:14-16 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. 15- For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. 16- Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
This verse also contains a little temple talk:
The throne of grace was the mercy seat in the Holiest of Holies.
Because our High Priest, the Lord Jesus, has come, we can now come into the presence of God without fear.
The veil between God and man has been removed:
II Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
God removed all the walls.
He removed the separation between God and man and also man and man.
This verse demonstrates to us how.
The different courts and sub-courts of the temple demonstrated different levels
The righteousness of a Gentile—in other words, not much—was required to enter the first court!
The righteousness of a Jew was needed to enter the second court.
If you were a descendant of Abraham and you kept the Law, you could go in.
If you had the righteousness of Jewish woman you could
enter the court of the women.
If you had the righteousness of a Jewish man, you could enter the court of Israel.
An even greater righteousness was required to enter the court of the priests.
You had to be of an even more exacting lineage, the tribe of Levi, and you had to keep more exacting laws and rituals.
Do you know why no one could enter the Holiest of Holies without BLOOD?
Because no one had a righteousness as great as God’s.
All were stained by sin.
God, in Christ Jesus, removed all the distinctions of the temple by becoming sin for all and giving His own righteousness to all.