December 20, 2019

The Coming Glory

Haggai 2:1-9

We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

—  John 1:14

After about 70 years in captivity, a remnant of God’s exiled people in Babylon returned to the land of Judah. Persia had taken over Babylon, and now Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David (Matthew 1:13), was appointed governor to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem.

When the temple’s foundation was laid, many of the people shouted with joy, but the older ones wept. Why? Because they had seen the former temple in its glory (Ezra 3). What could compare to that? God encouraged Zerubbabel to be strong and to keep working. One day God would shake up the world again, and the glory of the Lord’s temple would outshine even the old temple that had been destroyed.

How could that be? The Bible gives us two answers. First, Jesus, the Son of God, became one of us to reveal the glory of God’s grace and truth (John 1:14). He whose very body is the temple of God (John 2:21) came to give us eternal life.

Second, when Jesus returns, with “the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,” there will be no temple, “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:2, 22). And all whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will live there (21:27). Trust in Jesus, the Lamb of God, as your Savior, and you too will see the glory of the Lord!

Jesus, Lamb of God, thank you for being our temple, where we find forgiveness of sins and the loving presence of God forever. In your name, Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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