Cleansing the Obsolete
I read something this morning that added more insight to what I was thinking about yesterday. I was wondering about the possible reasons why Jesus expelled from the temple most of what were supposed to be legitimate elements of worship for that time. The animals for sacrifices along with the priests and others who were supposed to be there to conduct worship and assist the incoming worshipers were all cleansed even though many would assume they were supposed to be there.
Today I read some significant things about Caiaphas the high priest during the time of Christ. This man was so corrupt and selfish that from the moment he maneuvered his way into office until it was all over, he was completely disqualified for that position. He, along with many of the other priests who held positions of powerful influence and control over the Jewish people were so corrupt and greedy that from heaven's perspective they were not even priests at all. They were only dressed up like priests but they had absolutely no vital connection with God which was the primary qualification necessary for anyone who would be anointed as a priest.
So when Jesus expelled the priests along with all of the other greedy people and their merchandise, He was not removing anyone from a legitimate position for which they were accomplishing any good. There may have been some semblance of imitation worship going on in the temple but in fact the only worship really happening at all (except for a few honest souls whose worship of God was lost in the chaos) was the worship of money, power and dominance over others. In essence, the only kind of worship that was left in the temple as far as many of the priests were concerned was really the worship of Satan's principles masquerading as worship of God.
As far as removing all of the animals that were supposed to be sacrificed during the ceremonies being conducted, this too had significance as far as Jesus' presence was concerned. In reality it was now time for the whole sacrificial system to come to an end. The real Lamb of God was already present and ready to be sacrificed Himself. As such, there was no longer any reason or even excuse to go on performing meaningless rituals in the name of worship of God. God had given this system originally to bring to people's attention the real focus of His plan to save people from their sins – the Messiah who was the only effective sacrifice. All the other sacrifices were only symbols of Jesus and had no merit or power in themselves to do anything to save sinners or to transform lives.
Given the timing of these earth-changing transitions it becomes evident that Jesus was sending a clear message to anyone willing to think and be observant that none of these things were any longer relevant as far as God was concerned. It was time for people to shift their full attention to the real issues, the real problems and the real Solution who was standing right there in their midst. It was time for them to remove their hopes from the sacrificial system of symbols that was now totally corrupt and to attach all of their hope and affections to the authentic Lamb who had come to reveal the real truth about God. This truth had been very nearly totally obscured by the perversion of people's perceptions of God's character through corrupt men and demonic influence. Jesus came to reveal a Father of love, compassion and truth in opposition to a God of force, fear and demands for external performances.
But very few were willing to make that transition during the time Jesus was here on earth. And although Christianity has since become a major world religion, to a very great extent it has only perpetuated the same lies about God that the Jews believed and that caused them to reject both Jesus and the new revelation of God that He came to share with us. While claiming that we believe in a God of love we still tend to focus on external performance and behavior more than a vital heart-connection of loyalty, submission and intimacy with God. We are just as much in need of a temple cleansing as were those who had taken over the temple courts with their money tables and their hunger for control and power over those coming to worship God.
These perversions of truth are so pervasive that they have infected every person on this planet and largely still obscure the real truth about how God desires to relate to us. I don't believe that we can simply find our own way out of this deep cesspool of lies that keeps us trapped in ignorance and fear of God. We still need a fresh revelation of the truth about God that Jesus came to give the world and we need to again see it in human form. I don't think it is enough to just talk about the Jesus who lived long ago without seeing in real life the attitudes and disposition and demonstration of God's true character that cannot be conveyed simply with words.
That is why I believe God is looking for people right now in which He can dwell in real time so that the world can again see a demonstration of what it really means to be godly, to act and feel and relate like God would do in the person of Jesus. The Father is looking earnestly for people willing to worship Him is both spirit and truth. The amazing true message of the New Testament is that God wants to live inside of anyone who is willing to be conformed and transformed by connection with Him so effectively into His image that once again the world will unavoidably be confronted with human demonstrations of what God is really like and how much He loves every person no matter how “good” or “bad” they may be.
This is never going to occur by people trying to become more and more religious or pious or perfect as many have assumed. I believe that the only way anyone is ever going to be used as part of the genuine demonstration of God's experimentations in human lives and hearts is for each person involved in this project to become so enamored with the beauty of God's character and so filled with His true Spirit that they will become living models of grace, beauty, boldness, humility and kindness as they reflect what they are focusing on in their hearts in their connection with God's heart. These people are going to be such intense reflectors of God's true character of love that the world and all of its deceptions are going to be exposed for the fraud that Satan has created in the name of religion.
I want to be one of those who are so continually overwhelmed with the love of the Father and the Son that my life will be part of that revelation of God's true glory as foretold in Revelation 18. I want God to melt away all of my resistance to His love, His grace and His truth. That takes a miracle because of the deep pockets of resistance, lies and fear that still remain hidden inside of my heart and mind. But I have to trust God to finish the work that He has started in me. I have to trust His heart and not my own. And I give Him full permission to do whatever it takes to save and transform me into His image, for I cannot ever accomplish anything even remotely similar to that myself.
God, you still have a great deal of work to do in my heart for me to reflect you more fully. Please keep cleansing me and filling me with your presence and your Spirit, because this is all about your glory and your reputation. Dwell in me as you describe in your Word and live out your emotions and expressions through my being so that others will see your true glory through your presence in my life.