This is a reflection on the chapter entitled, “The Temple Cleansed Again.”
The sanctuary system was designed to remove sin from the sinner without destroying the latter. There was a hot potato means of transferring the sin from sinners, to animals, to the sanctuary and finally to the scapegoat. That last step, where sin was placed on the scapegoat, typifying Satan, is called the cleansing of the sanctuary and happened on the Day of Atonement, now called Yom Kippur (Leviticus 23:27, 28). On the tenth day of the seventh month, the high priest would enter the Most Holy Place with the blood of the sin and burnt offerings for his household and the children of Israel to, “make an atonement for the holy place” (Leviticus 16:3, 5-7, 11-16).
But, in Mark 11:15-17, instead of cleansing the sanctuary merely from sin, the temple had to be cleansed from an obdurate people. His house which is should be a house of prayer for all nations is made a den of thieves (Mark 11:17; Isaiah 56:7). In this place made holy by the presence of God, were people selling and buying. In this time of soul searching solemnity was the thrill of avarice. The Savior is hence constrained to change the atmosphere. He casts out the money hungry priests, and prevents anyone from bringing any vessel into His house. And now, the very object of the sanctuary was made void, because the sinners held on to sin, and rejected the true Light. They were thus condemned, for they believed not on the only begotten Son of God, and their deeds were evil (John 3:17-19).
Yet, with all this egregious departure from the Light of God, the chief priests, scribes, and elders, like the Laodicean Church, are blind to their blindness. And though eager to sell salvation, they are unwilling to purchase their own from the Savior (Revelation 3:17, 18). Their form of godliness, worsened their myopia, and they were being dried from the roots (Mark 11:20) just like the wicked will be on the day of vengeance (Malachi 4:1). They shunned the warm beams of Jesus that would have fueled their photosynthesis, and chose the wrath of hell fire.
How do we stand? What is the condition of our hearts? Do we see ourselves as God sees us, and desire to daily grow in Him? Are we allowing the presence of His sanctuary to dwell within us, cleansing us from the fat of sin? As God helps us, let us determine to hearken to the loving rebukes of our Father, Savior, Holy Spirit (Revelation 3:19).
-Thank You Jesus!