Today as we catch up with Jesus and the apostles our journey takes a tour of the temple. As we look around at the architecture, the vastness of the temple complex, and its overall beauty, we must not forget the meaning the temple had to Judah. The temple was their meeting place. It was where they offered sacrifices to God. It was where God met with their High Priest. It was a monumental representation of God’s presence in their city. In many ways the temple was the pride and joy of God’s people. As we are touring the temple, Jesus revels some literally earth shattering news.
- Mark 13:1-2 – The temple will be destroyed.
- Mark 13:3-23 – When will this happen?
- Mark 13:24-27 – This temple destruction is God’s coming judgment.
- Mark 13:28-31 – These events are immediate.
- Mark 13:32-37 – The disciples are to stay alert.
Jesus tells his apostles that the pride and joy of God’s people will again face destruction. This destruction would come while their generation still lived (Mark 13:30). Many today equate the events of Mark 13 to the Christ’s 2nd Coming and the events of the end of time. But look closer. This prophecy from Jesus is about the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. Historically, those events took place in A.D. 70 during the time the generation Jesus spoke to, still lived. This is not God’s judgment on the evil of the world, but His judgment on Judah for rejecting His will and His Messiah (Christ). It would signal the ultimate dismantling of the Covenant He had with Israel through the Law of Moses and signify the ratification of a New Covenant of Love, signed by the blood of the Christ – Jesus.
As I reflect on the events Jesus speaks of; and as I look for lessons for my life; I see the following observations:
- We live in the Kingdom of Christ now. There is no waiting for a rapture for us to be translated into His Kingdom. Paul says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” (Col 1:13).
- We are reigning with Christ now. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1Pe 2:9, cf.Rev 1:6; 5:10).
- When Christ returns again, it will be the FINAL judgment for all mankind, both good and evil. “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” (Joh 5:28-29).
- We must live for Christ and God now. Follow the King of kings now, while we have time, ” . . . when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed” (2Th 1:7-10).