Palm Sunday

Hebrews 8:1-9:28; Matthew 21:1-17

Jesus Enters the Holy Places

Today is the day we commemorate our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem amid shouts of joy.  He comes as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9) with people welcoming him with words that indicate they believe in him.  Many of these same people will be calling for his crucifixion just five days later.  Rather fickle of them.

Matthew then records how our Lord entered the temple and turned over the tables of the money-changers.  The temple was supposed to be a house of prayer, not a den of thieves.  The Gospel of John recites Psalm 69:9 regarding the event, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”  And yet, even for our Lord’s love of God’s house, he predicted it would be destroyed (Matthew 24:2).  And it was about forty years later.

Hebrews speaks of a temple, but not one made with hands.  The temple that was built under Solomon in the tenth century before Christ, and destroyed about four hundred years later, and the temple built in the sixth century before Christ, and destroyed almost six hundred years later, were mere copies, shadows of the heavenly realities which they depicted.  For our Lord is “a minister in the holy places in the true tent, that the Lord set up, not man.”  Christ entered the holy places through the “greater and more perfect tent, not made with hands,” and shed his own blood and not that of goats or bulls.  This temple or tent that Christ thus entered is the heavenly reality of which the earthly temples that were destroyed were only copies.

Which is to say that we Christians celebrate the real thing.  His blood really works for us, for his cleanses the conscience, something the blood of animals could never do.  His blood is so effective for us that he only had to give his life once for all, not over and over as the priests had to do with the animals under the old covenant.  His temple was his body (John 2:18-22).  It was this temple that could never be destroyed, try as they may.  So whether we speak of the temple of his body or of the heavenly temple of which he is now the minister seated at the right hand of the Father, he has now come and inaugurated this new and lasting covenant with his own blood, a covenant that will never grow old since it is founded on God’s promise and deals with the realities and not the copies.  This was the plan from the foundation of the world.  This is the glory that God reveals to us about Himself.  His Son’s blood secures our forgiveness.  And now, we await him a second time to gather us, who eagerly anticipate his coming.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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