A Son, A Sanctuary and a Seat

“Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Why is this significant? Jesus taught Cleopas and the other disciple on the road to Emmaus all about Himself using the writings of Moses and the Prophets – that’s the Old Testament. In this passage, we see that what Augustine taught about studying the Bible was exactly right. The great church leader of the late fourth and early fifth centuries, said, “The New Testament is in the Old concealed and the Old Testament is in the New revealed.” As we look at our readings from 2 Samuel and then Luke 2, significant truths will leap from the page – if we will study the Old with an eye toward the New. Read on…

Read 2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16 – An “Heir” Raising Experience

King David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). From shepherd boy, to slayer of a giant, to mighty warrior and King of Israel, David had been highly favored and blessed of God. But, David had also sinned grievously. By following his own desires, he had conceived a child out of wedlock by an adulterous affair with Bathsheba. He compounded his sin by effectively murdering her husband. When Uriah would not come home for a visit with his wife, providing cover for David’s sinful actions, the King had him sent to the front of the battle lines. This ensured Uriah’s death.

Later, when David desired to build God a permanent dwelling, the Temple, God declined his offer. However, God did make a covenant promise to David before He died. God assured the great King of Israel that He would raise up an heir for David. This son of David would be the one to build the temple, establish David’s Kingdom and inhabit his throne forever. David’s son Solomon, the wisest man in the world, was the one to partially fulfill God’s promise. But, there was another Davidic Son who would fulfill God’s promise to David perfectly. Who is it? Read on…

Read Luke 2:41-51 – Losing Your “Heir” (At least for a few days)

Jesus and his parents went to Jerusalem for Passover, as they did every year. Usually, pilgrims would travel in a family or community caravan. There was safety in numbers, and the children could be together to entertain themselves. This is most likely why Jesus was not missed for a day after Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem with their cadre of travelling companions. Jesus had remained in Jerusalem at the Temple. Once they realized He was not in their caravan, they decided to retrace their steps back to Jerusalem. After three days of searching for their boy, they finally found Jesus in the Temple. What was Jesus doing? He was sitting among the teachers, astounding them with His insightful questions and His deep understanding and wisdom.

You can imagine how they must have felt when they discovered Him at long last. They had to be feeling a mixture of relief, incredulity and irritation. Mary asks, “How could you have done this to us? Your father has been looking for you with great anxiety.” Jesus responds with words that stand among his most remembered and cherished. “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus returned to His home and was obedient to His parents.

Anyone who has children understands the fear of losing your child, even if for a few minutes. Whether it is in a crowd or on a hike, to lose track of your little ones is traumatic. Mary and Joseph were perplexed. Why would Jesus do this? Well, there are some astounding truths that come from this passage. But let’s go back twelve years and begin to put this all together.

Twelve years earlier a virgin girl named Mary received a visit from the Angel Gabriel. Luke makes clear that she was betrothed to Joseph, of the house and lineage of David. “And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 

Joseph was betrothed to Mary. All was going well, until Mary became pregnant. Joseph, who was an honorable man, was thinking about putting her away privately. An angel of the Lord came to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her” (Matthew 1:20). The angel addressed Joseph as “son of David.” Truth be told, Joseph and Mary were both in the line of David. This means that Jesus was a son of David by lineage and by law, for Joseph was his step-father. To confirm this, Matthew 1:1 begins, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David…”

David was promised that He would have a Son in his royal line. Wasn’t that Solomon? Well, Solomon was the son of David, but David was promised that his son would make his kingdom “firm,” and that he would build a house for God – the Temple. What’s more, the Son of David would sit on David’s throne forever. But that is not what happened! In 586 BC, the Babylonians defeated Judah, destroyed Jerusalem and demolished the Temple. The last Davidic King, Zedekiah was deposed and his sons were killed in the Babylonian uprising. Was God being dishonest with David? Absolutely not!

The Son that David was promised would fulfill God’s promises eternally. The One to fulfill God’s covenant vows can’t possibly be Solomon. Listen to Gabriel’s description of Mary’s Son. He said she would bear a son and, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end’” (Luke 1:32-33). So, Jesus, the Son of David, would be the One. He will sit on David’s throne forever. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. He will make David’s kingdom firm. But, what about the Temple. Wasn’t the Son supposed to build the Dwelling of God?

In John 2:18-22 we find our answer. Jesus has just cleansed the Temple. The people want to know by what authority He has done this. So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. Jesus would indeed “build the Temple” for the Temple was His resurrected body. In 70 AD, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. The only Temple that remained was “The Body of Christ!” I can’t help but think of Revelation 21:22 when the New Heavens and the New Earth appear. John wrote, “And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.”

What have we learned? God promised David a Son who would build a Sanctuary, and take His Seat forever. Jesus fulfills all of these promises perfectly. He may be considered the new Solomon. For, Solomon was the wisest man in the world. At 12 years old, Jesus was in the Temple teaching the teachers. What Solomon did imperfectly, Jesus does perfectly. He is the Son, the Sanctuary and He is the Lamb standing as if slain on Heaven’s throne. And He shall reign forever and ever.

What a journey we are on. As we make our way to Jerusalem, we begin to recognize that the Son of David must become a sacrifice. That the Sanctuary must be torn down to be rebuilt. And the royal Seat will include a crown of thorns and a blood stained robe. At first glance, this royal Son is not what we expected. But, He is exactly what we need!