Learning from Ezekiel 43-48
43:1-27 - This is not only about the glory of the Temple. It’s about ‘the glory of the God of Israel’. This is the greater glory - ‘the glory of the Lord filled the Temple’ (1,5). God is not only concerned about the creation of a beautiful place of worship. He wants our lives to be ‘radiant with His glory’. This happens when ‘the Spirit lifts us up’ and brings us close to God - ‘into the inner court’ (2,5). We pray that the glory of the Lord will fill the place of worship: ‘May the fragrance of Jesus fill this place’. We pray that ‘the glory of Jesus’ will ‘fill His Church’. We are not only praying for God’s glory in the place of worship. We are praying for His glory in our lives: ‘May the beauty of Jesus fill my life... Fill my thoughts, my words, my deeds’ (Mission Praise, 462).
44:1-31 - ‘I looked and saw the glory of the Lord filling the Temple of the Lord...’ (4). We look to the Lord and, catching a glimpse of His glory, ‘we become more and more like Him’. He is leading us out of our life of sin, a life that ‘falls short of His glory’, and into His life of salvation, a life of ‘being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory’ (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 3:23). We have not yet arrived at our full deliverance from sin: ‘When He appears, we shall be like Him’ (1 John 3:2). As we await our Lord’s return, let us keep on praying: ‘Change my heart, O God... May I be like You’.‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full on His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’. (Mission Praise, 69,712).
45:1-25 - We read here of ‘the sin offerings, cereal offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel’ (17). All of this points forward to the single Sacrifice for sin made by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: ‘Christ died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God’ (1 Peter 3:18). ‘We have been forgiven and made clean through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all’ (Hebrews 10:10). This is what we must see here. We must learn to look beyond the many sacrifices to the one Sacrifice: ‘Christ has offered one Sacrifice for sins, an offering that is effective for ever’. Let us rejoice in our Saviour: ‘He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through Him’ (Hebrews 10:12; 7:25).
46:1-24 - We read here about the ‘offering’ of ‘a lamb without defect’. This was to happen ‘morning by morning’ (13). From these offerings , we look on to another Offering, ‘a single Offfering’, the ‘once for all’ Offering of Jesus Christ as ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’. Jesus Christ - the Lamb of God - has ‘offered for all time a single Sacrifice for sins’ (John 1:29; Hebrews 10:10,12,14). As we read about the many lambs, we hear God’s voice calling out to us, directing our attention to our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:36). ‘Christ’ is ‘our Passover Lamb’. He ‘has been sacrificed’ for us. Through His ‘precious blood’, we are ‘redeemed’ (1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
47:1-23 - Here, we see the rising of the ‘river’ of God’s blessing - ‘ankle-deep... knee-deep... up to the waist ... deep enough to swim in - a river that no-one could cross’ (3-5). This is the river of ‘life’ - ‘a great number of trees.... Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows... large numbers of fish because... where the river flows everything will live’ (7-9). ‘The Spirit’ brings ‘rivers of living water’ into our lives (John 7:38-39). Don’t settle for a shallow experience of God’s blessing - ‘ankle-deep’, ‘knee-deep’. ‘Deep calls to deep’. Let ‘the Spirit’ lead you into ‘the deep things of God’. ‘Launch out into the deep’. ‘Swim’ in God’s mighty ‘river’ of blessing. ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ (3-5; Psalm 42:7; Luke 5:4; 1 Corinthians 2:10; Ephesians 5:18).
48:1-35 - ‘The Lord is there’ (35). He is with us when we gather for worship: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Matthew 18:20). He loves to be among us when we are worshipping Him: ‘He looks down upon us, delight in His face, enjoying His children’s love, enthralled by our praise’. We are to come into the Lord’s presence with joyful praise - ‘The King is among us. His Spirit is near. Let’s draw near and worship. Let songs fill the air!’ - and reverent fear - ‘Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here. Come bow before Him now with reverence and fear’ (Mission Praise, 650,50). When we leave the place of worship, let us take His promise with us: ‘I am with you always’ (Matthew 28:20).