Go with me to Jerusalem, 32 AD. It is Passover time, and the city is bustling with spiritual pilgrims returning for worship. Among the worshippers that year is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. As Jesus enters the city, He made His way to the Temple and made a most peculiar statement, “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19).” Those within earshot scoffed at this notion. After all they had waited a LONG time for this Temple to be built. In fact, they tell Jesus that it had taken 46 years to build this “third generation” Temple. Frankly the folks were having a hard time believing that Jesus could deliver on His massive claim. After all, this was a massive building. Herod’s Temple was 1600 feet wide by 900 feet deep by 9 stories high with walls up to 16 feet deep. Some of the stones in this Temple weighed over 600 tons! How could one man make such a bold claim?
The truth of the matter is that Jesus had no intention of rebuilding Herod’s Temple at all. The Temple Jesus was talking about was His Body. For a millenia the presence of God in the ancient world had been housed in one of three Temples (Solomon’s, Zerubbabel’s, and Herod’s). With Jesus death and resurrection, He would set in motion the plan to move the presence of God from a stone building to a living Body of believers. Worship of God would no longer run through many sacrifices in one geographical location, but would be established by the One sacrifice of Jesus death, making it possible for believers everywhere to worship God regardless of their physical location. In a sense, Jesus death made God’s house a mobile home. What a tremendous contrast to 600 ton immovable stones!
Over the next three weeks at Wildwood in our Sunday morning worship services (9:30 and 10:50), I will be guiding us through a study of some of the relevant passages that talk about what it means that believers are a part of “God’s Mobile Home” today. We are living stones (rolling stones) in God’s mobile agenda. We will begin our study this week with a look at 1 Peter 2:4-10. Take a look at those verses before Sunday and consider the implications of these verses on what it means to live in Christian community in Norman today. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!