Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

require and demand thee to give a proof of, thou hast to our knowledge none from the government. To this our Lord, in a dark and enigmatical, yet in a very proper and pertinent way, replies to their question, (which was with respect to the temple, his power over it, his right to purge it, and a sign required of him to shew and prove his divine power and authority) he says, pointing, as it were, with his finger to his body, (for of that he spake, as appears from verse 21.) "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." This is not a grant, exhortation, advice, or command to kill him, but a prophecy of what they would do. And by his resurrection from the dead, he would be most gloriously proved to be the Son of God. And this he now gives them as a prophetical hint, or sign of his having power to do what he had now done. On our Lord's delivering himself in a prophetic manner, which was to them dark, and it appeared they understood it not, because they applied it to the temple literally; they, with derision and contempt, said, ver. 20. "Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?" As much as if they had said, none certainly will be foolish enough, not even thou thyself, to pull it down, and try the expriment.

The temple here was neither the temple of Solomon, nor the temple as built by Zerubbabel, commonly called the second temple, but Herod's temple, of which I will give a very short account. Solomon's temple was but seven years in building, I Kings vi. 37, 38. The second temple, or that built by Zerubbabel, was begun in the second year of Cyrus, which, to the thirtysecond of Darius exclusive, was just forty-six years. Cyrus reigned three years; Artaxerxes Ahasuerus fourteen years; Artaxerxes Darius, thirty-two years: but if these years are begun with the first of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who reigned forty years, and end in the sixth year of Darius, his successor, in which year the temple was finished, (Ezra vi. 15.) there are forty-six years: but Herod's temple, or the temple as rebuilt, or repaired by Herod, was that which was standing in our Lord's time. Of which take the following account.

The second temple having stood five hundred years, had been often injured, broken, and repaired. Herod, the great son of Antipater, an Idumean, attempting to please the people of the jews, after haying ruled over them in a very arbitrary and most cruel manner, endeavoured to persuade them to consent that their temple should be demolished, in order to rebuild it; but as they would not consent to this, he assured them that the temple should remain untouched, till all the materials were ready to build the new one, which he provided at a vast expence and labour, in two years time, by employing ten thousand artificers for the work, a thousand waggons for carriage, .and a thousand priests for directions. The work was performed with prodigious cost and splendour, as it is described by Josephus. It was built of large stones, each twenty-five cubits long, twelve broad, and eight in thickness.

The temple, properly so called, consisting of the holy, and the most holy place, was finished in a year and a half, so that divine worship was performed there; and the several walls, galleries, pillars, and courts of it, were completed in eight years more, so that the whole time spent about it, was nine years and a half. It was finished and dedicated on the anniversary day of Herod's accession to the crown, with a vast number of sacrifices, and rejoicing.

It was begun nearly forty-six years before the passover mentioned in this chapter; and though the grand design of it was executed in uine years and a half, yet Herod and his successors were always building outworks round it, even to the very day that Christ was there, and long afterwards.

Hence the jews might, with great propriety say, as they did, " Forty-six years was this temple in building." These jews quite mistook our Lord's design, when he thus expressed himself: they understood him, as speaking of the temple, but he spake agreeably to the well-known usage of scripture, which calls the type and the thing signified by it, by the same name; yet this they understood not.

The words of my text, " But he spake of the temple of his body," shall be set before you, for your present profit, under these two general heads.

First. I will endeavour to shew you that the temple was a type of the body of Christ.

Secondly. I will shew how Christ is the antitype thereof.

I am first to shew that the temple itself was a type and figure of Christ's body. This appears from our Lord's words before us, " Destroy this temple, and in three days 1 will raise it up; but lie spake of the temple of his body." His body was the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man ; and he here speaks as the scripture also does, which calls the type and the thing expressed by it, by one and the same name.

That the temple was a type of Christ's body, and every part of its furniture a type and figure of him, and of what he was to be, do, and suffer, is now the subject before us; which when I have gone through, will compleat the first head of my present discourse.

The tabernacle in the wilderness, and the temple of Solomon, were both one and the same, with regard to their mystical signification. The one was an ambulatory, the other a fixed temple; both poiuted out, and were memorials of the incarnation of the Son of God.

The faithful looked on the temple as a certain pledge that God would be manifest in the flesh. This was what struck Solomon with that great surprize at the dedication of his temple: when the sacred vessels and furniture of it being set in order, the ark being placed in the holy of holies, the service being opened with sacrifices, and the priests blowing the trumpets over them, (as expressive of their triumphing in the future sacrifice of the Lamb of God) the glory of the Lord filled the house, which was altogether supernatural; and thus Jehovah attested his presence. with his own divinely instituted emblems and worship, on the sight of which Solomon, in a parenthesis of wonder, cries out, "But will God in very deed, dwell with men on the earth: behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!"

The human nature of Christ is called a tabernacle, Heb. viii. 2. It is stiled the true tabernacle, suggesting it to be the antitype of Moses' tabernacle; and it is further said of it, that the *' Lord pitched it, and not man:" shewing that the human nature of Christ was produced wholly in a supernatural way. The pattern of the tabernacle was given by God to Moses, and a pattern of the temple was given by the

« AnteriorContinuar »