Biblical Text: Exodus 20:1-17, John 2:13-22 (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
This sermon might be a bit intellectual, but it is lent which is a season for some challenging fare. The challenge here is to think about what does the cleansing of the temple of our body. Our first answer is always the law. We think that we can control the passions. We think that our heads control our hearts. After that falsehood breaks, I think we often pursue some “middle ground”. We want to build a temple or sacred booth in this world. We clear out a bit of the world. We put our hope in something like “beauty” or “the arts”. And it is not that the law, or “the arts”, or any of these things are wrong. It is just that tomorrow, all the money changers are back anyway.
Our hope isn’t in anything in this world. Not in the law which is written on our stone hearts, although that dead thing can’t follow it. Not in the prettiest work of human hands, even though those might move the heart occasionally. Our hope is in faith in the cross and resurrection – the work of Christ – alone. We need a new heart, a new want-er. And that only comes about by the foolish work of the Spirit.
…The father desires for all His children to be under that protecting wing. That protecting wing that has taken care of and planned out all the necessities. All the ultimate necessities – our sin which separated us from the Father that prevented us from being gathered, the death that results from that sin, the raging of the adversary who stands behind all the Herod’s of this world who desire to kill us – The Father has supplied all our necessities in His son Jesus. Under the cross our sins have been buried. While in the tomb – Christ triumphed over that adversary – descending into hell to proclaim the victory. And on that third day – that glorious necessary third day when the course was complete – rising from the tomb and putting death forever under his feat. God desires all his children to be under that protective wing – his mighty arm of Jesus Christ….