Ezekiel 40 and 41 (and following) chronicle Ezekiel’s vision of a new temple that had yet to be constructed in his day. The people of Israel were only a third of the way through their time in Exile, and the men who would lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple (Nehemiah and Ezra) had not been born yet. Nevertheless, God planted a vision in the mind of Ezekiel for a new temple that would stand in the midst of The City of God to be the place where the people of God would come to meet with God.
We’re told later in the Old Testament that the older men cried when the temple was built because it did not match the beauty of Solomon’s temple that had stood for so many years. Upon reading the description of this new temple, you can see why they cried. There is no mention of gold and costly linens, it is simple and understated.
But consider the picture this presents for us. What makes this temple special is God’s very presence, which fills the temple’s inner courts in Ezekiel 43. The outer beauty is not what shines, it is the beauty contained within, God’s very presence dwelling among His people.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Today, the temple of God is the hearts of his people. He dwells in us, jars of clay who contain within an all surpassingly great and wondrous power that comes from the God who shines light into darkened hearts.
Those who trust in Christ are the new temple, a greater temple than in Ezekiel’s vision or that of Solomon. We are a living breathing temple of God, shining the light of His glory to those around us, that they might come to be a temple with us.