Scripture Focus: Ezekiel 41.4
He said to me, “This is the Most Holy Place.”
Reflection: From The Most Holy Place
By John Tillman
Ezekiel is led on a tour of a temple by “a man whose appearance is like bronze.” (Ezekiel 40.3-4) He matches the appearance of angelic beings or of Jesus when he appears in visions. The man leads Ezekiel around the outer buildings, then up to the portico and into the main hall. (Ezekiel 40.48-49) From there the door of the most holy place is measured and Ezekiel is led inside.
The man tells Ezekiel that what he sees is to be reported to the Israelites in exile. No one in Israel, other than the high priest, would ever see this room, but Ezekiel and his readers, including us, are ushered in. “This is the Most Holy Place.”
Ezekiel’s temple is neither past nor future. (It does not match Solomon’s, Nehemiah’s, or John’s from Revelation.) It existed as a beautiful hope for the exiles he was writing to. This vision is also for us today. This is part of our beautiful hope. There is a temple, not made by human hands. It exists and will exist. In it we will always be with the Lord. Its doors will all be open to us. We will access “the most holy place” and directly experience the creator of our universe.
But there is another hope. A present hope. An inner hope.
The same Spirit that makes the most holy place holy has been sent to “tabernacle” within us. Each Christian filled with the Holy Spirit possesses, in our inner being, a “most holy place.” The man with the appearance of bronze escorted Ezekiel into this temple, even though his body was in exile in Babylon. No matter where we find ourselves in exile, we are escorted by Jesus into God’s presence.
In this place, we can pray, repent, and be cleansed. In this place, we can find worship, wisdom, and the work God calls us to. From the most holy place we are sent to proclaim truth, enact justice, and announce God’s mercy.
After priests entered the holy of holies, they exited announcing that the sacrifice had been made and God had blotted out the sins of his people. Every time we exit our times of worship and prayer, we can enter the world of our exile, repeating this message. God has blotted out the sin of his people. With repentance, forgiveness is available to all who will receive it.
Proclaim this message today.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. — Psalm 106.1
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Ezekiel 41 (Listen 4:40)
1 Peter 4 (Listen 2:50)
Read more about A Temple for Exiles
Watching this new, improved temple being measured must have been an incredibly moving experience for Ezekiel.
Read more about Christ our Temple, River, and City
Christ himself is our temple. He is the gate, the doorway, through which we enter to worship.