Where did the glory go?
By: Dr. Mitch Glaser | President, Chosen People Ministries
The Temple and the Jewish People
Another important aspect of your heritage as a follower of Messiah is the Temple of Jerusalem. You may recall from the Book of Ezekiel references to “the Shekinah glory” in the Temple.
The Temple was the heart and soul of the Jewish faith in biblical times — the place where sacrifices were made for the forgiveness of sin. Since the Temple’s destruction over 2,000 years ago, Jewish people have told many well-known stories of great rabbis who went to their deathbeds wondering whether or not their sins were forgiven.
This is the problem, of course, when there is no recognizable means or moment when one knows that their sins are forgiven. Jewish people live with ambiguity, not knowing if our good works and repentance are enough for God to forgive us of our sins.
The Glory of God and the Temple
I believe that we sometimes overemphasize the animal sacrifices in the ancient Temple.
We forget that the most important part of Temple worship was the glory of God present and hovering above the mercy seat where the once-a-year Yom Kippur offering was made. Without the glory of God, the Temple would have simply been a very elaborate, but empty building.
The glory of God left the Temple, according to Ezekiel 8–11, by way of the Eastern Gate of the Temple. This passage must be viewed in light of Ezekiel 43:1-2, where the prophet envisions the future Kingdom Temple again becoming filled with the glory of God and that the returning glory of God would come through the Eastern Gate. The glory of God will return the same way it left!
“Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory” (Ezekiel 43:1-2).
Jesus and the Glory of God
The Lord, from the Garden of Eden onward, often judged sinful humanity through the departure of His presence or by banning nations without a full manifestation of His glory. The writers of the New Testament describe Jesus as the fullness of the glory of God…in the flesh!
- And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
- And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature… (Hebrews 1:3).
I believe that His coming in the flesh gives us the assurance that one day He will return and that this Glory will not only fill the future Temple, but the whole earth! As John writes,
“And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
Hallelujah, those of us who know the One who came as our atonement secures us front-row seats for both Israel and all humanity’s glorious future!
Thank you for helping proclaim this Good News of Messiah to Jewish people everywhere.