Ezekiel's Temple and the Everlasting Covenant
Ezekiel 1:1-3; 40:1
Pastor James Park’s sermon from Shiloh’s Lord’s Day Service on December 1, 2019
Characteristics of God’s Covenant
The covenant that God made with Ezekiel is an eternal and everlasting covenant. Whenever God established covenants with His people, three elements always present. First, there needs to be an altar when a covenant is made, which is the place of worship or temple. Secondly, when God made a covenant, there was always a sacrifice. Thirdly, there had to be a priest who would offer that sacrifice to God. God established an everlasting covenant and Ezekiel’s Temple is that temple that is connected with that covenant. Ezekiel’s Temple not only has a futuristic and eternal characteristic, but it also has ramifications in our spiritual lives today.
Background of Ezekiel
Ezekiel was taken captive in 597 BC at the age of 25. In 572 BC, on the 10th day and 1st month, it was the 25th year of the exile, and Ezekiel was 50 years old. The number 50 is very important as a foundation principle to Ezekiel’s Temple because the temple is pointing to the “Jubilee.” Thus, Ezekiel’s Temple gives us hope for the eternal “Jubilee” which represents the eternal “Sabbath and Rest” that we will go into.
The Old and New Testament concept of the number “50”
In the Bible, the number “50” is connected to the “Feast of Weeks,” which is a period of fifty days since the exodus from the 1st month and 15th day until the 3rd month and 6th day. The Israelites came to Mount Sinai on the 3rd month and 6th day (Ex 19:1-2). On this day, Moses had ascended Mount Sinai three times, and right before his 4th ascension, God came down and spoke the Ten Commandments by His voice. This took place on the 3rd month and 6th day, which is actually the “Feast of Weeks.” (Ex 20:1). It had been “50” days since Israel made the exodus from Egypt. The “Feast of Weeks” is also called “Pentecost” which is 50 days after Jesus resurrected (Acts 2:1-3). Therefore, in the Old and New Testaments with the concept of “50,” we can see that it is connected with the “Feast of Weeks” which is the receiving of the Word. And on the “Day of Pentecost,” they received the “Spirit” along with the Word of God working together (John 6:63). Thus, the Word is the “container” for the “Spirit” of God. That means when we are receiving the Word of God, we are also receiving the Spirit of God (Acts 10:44). In the year of Jubilee, all slaves are set free and sent back to their homeland and their debts are canceled (Lev 25:10-12). Then there is the “Favorable year of the Lord” which is proclaiming liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners, settling of accounts and healing (Isa 61:1-3). This favorable year of the Lord is pointing to Jesus Christ and the eternal favorable year. Thus, through Christ, we have freedom from our sins and healing in His name (Rom 8:1-2). Daniel received a vision of the “70 weeks” (Dan 9:24). Seventy weeks equals 490 days, but God equates one day as a year (Ez 4:6). Therefore, 490 days equals 490 years. When these 490 years are full, all transgression is finished and there is an end to sin, which is a time period of God’s entire redemption, and then we go into the eternal Jubilee. All of this deals with the completion of our redemption where there is an eternal Sabbath, Jubilee and we are eternally freed from sin and death. Although we have been freed from sin and death, we are still here on this earth, and therefore, there is a spiritual battle. However, at the last trumpet it will be completed and finished (1 Cor 15:51-53).
Jesus as the fulfiller of Jubilee
Jesus proclaimed and declared that He was the Jubilee that has come (Luke 4:17-21). Jesus said, “Today, the Word of God has been fulfilled in your hearing therefore you must believe in Me for I am the “Jubilee” and “True Rest.” Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:56-58). Jesus declared His divinity, saying that He existed before Abraham and that Abraham rejoiced to see His day When God provided the living sacrifice at Mount Moriah (Gen 22:13-14). The Jews said to Jesus, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” (John 8:57). Spiritually, Jesus was “50” for He fulfilled the Jubilee and He Himself foreshadows the number “50” for He Himself is the Jubilee. Everything in the Bible points to Jesus; therefore, numbers, characters, and history all pointed to Him (John 5:39).
In regards to the temple, Herod’s Temple took 46 years to build (John 2:19-22). When you add the temple of Jesus Christ, which is the temple of His body, His 3 years of ministry, death on cross and resurrection, this completes 49 years. Jesus then crosses over into the number “50” which is the year of the Jubilee, the “Feast of Weeks,” and the “Favorable year of the Lord.” Finally, Jesus said when we forgive others, we must forgive them “70” times “7,” which equals 490 times (Matt 18:21-22). This teaches us that in order to receive the blessings of the Jubilee on this earth, we need to learn how to forgive and be reconciled. In the life of Jesus’ public ministry, we see that He came as the fulfiller of the Jubilee. So may we hold unto and fix our eyes on Jesus and His Word and He will lead us into the eternal Jubilee for our citizenship is in heaven and not of this earth (Heb 12:2; Phil 3:20).
Conclusion: When looking at the measurements in relationship to Ezekiel’s Temple, the number “25” is mentioned seven times and the number “50” is mentioned ten times for a total of 17 times (Ez 40). This teaches us that Ezekiel’s Temple is pointing toward the eternal Jubilee. Living waters flow from Ezekiel’s Temple and it is eschatologically fulfilled on this earth as well, meaning it has an eternal aspect to it. Therefore, through Ezekiel’s Temple, may we come to find hope and true freedom in Jesus Christ.