Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jesus clears the temple

Lesson: Jesus is the Ultimate Sacrifice and the New Temple
1. Lesson:
  • Tell the account of Jesus at the Temple based on John2:13-22 and Mark 11:17
  • After Jesus went into Jerusalem on the donkey, one of the first things He did was to go to the temple.
  • The temple was where the Jews would go to offer their sacrifices to God in worship and for their sins.
  • But when Jesus was at the temple, what did He see? He saw people selling cattle, sheep and doves and exchanging money. Someone who wanted to offer sacrifice at the temple would have to change their money into special “temple currency” before they could buy the animals for sacrifice.
  • That usually means that they’d have to pay more than normal in order to fulfill their religious duties. It also meant that people were making money out of people’s worship, and those who could not afford the special temple currency would not be able to offer their sacrifices.
  • Jesus didn’t like it. Jesus described what they were doing as a “market” and a “den of robbers.”
  • So He made a whip of cords and drove all these people out, together with their sheep and cattle and doves. He overturned the money changers’ tables and scattered the coins.
  • For All Nations: No Hindrance
    • Jesus said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’?”
    •  Jesus was quoting Isaiah 56, which spoke of Gentiles (non-Jews) coming to worship Him:  
    • By putting their own rules and making money out of people’s worship, the moneychangers and merchants were making it difficult and stopping people from coming to worship God.
    • God had intended that every person, from ALL nations, have full access to Him. They would be able to worship Him freely and have fellowship with Him.
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice, The New Temple
    • <can use blocks/lego/Uno stacko to build a temple building. then destroy it and explain that today, Jesus is the new temple and we are all in it>
    •  At that time, there were certain restrictions on temple worship according to the Mosaic law. People like us — gentiles, non-Jews —could only worship in the outer area. Only Jews could go into the temple, and only the priests could offer the sacrifices on their behalf.
    • This is because SIN still separated man from God.  And sinful man could not simply come to the holy God.
    •  When Jesus was asked by the Jews to show why He had authority to chase everyone out of the temple, He answered, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
    • At that time, nobody understood. They thought He meant the physical temple they were standing in, which took 46 years to build.
    • But Jesus was talking about His body — that He will die, and rise up again after 3 days. And He did!
    • After Jesus rose from the dead, His body would be the new temple. The old temple and its many Old Covenant sacrifices were not needed any more.
    • Through His death, the ultimate sacrifice, He signed a New Covenant with God on our behalf.  He paid for our sins and removed it from us.

    • Today, we can all be part of Christ’s body and have a personal relationship with God — we no longer had to go to a temple building to worship Him and fellowship with Him. We can be in Christ, and God’s spirit can be in us. God lives with us and walks with us, His people.
      • 1 Cor 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
      • 1 Cor 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
      • 2 Cor 6:16 For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:  “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
  • Conclusion:
    •  When Jesus cleansed the temple, He was showing that:
      • Everyone, from all nations, can come freely to worship God
      • Jesus would be the ultimate Sacrifice and the New Temple — we are now in Him and God’s spirit lives in us.

2. Activity Suggestions:
  • Memory Verse activity: Choose one of the verses from Corinthians and play a game to help kids remember the verse/s.

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