The Table Turning Jesus

Jesus is doing a prophetic action when he cleans up the temple. As the Son of God he comes to the dwelling place of his father and overturns it.

What does he overturn? Not only the financial corruption but also the whole sacrificial system. He releases the animals and by doing so says, “You don’t need all this stuff anymore. It’s over because the true Lamb of God is here. You do not need these priests anymore because the one who is priest and victim is here.”

When he predicts the destruction of the temple he is predicting the destruction of the whole Old Testament sacrificial system. It will die out because that which it was intended to point to has come.

The old system passes away. The new covenant has come.

The Holy of Holies is no more because the Holy of Holies is standing among you. The Ark of the Covenant will be no more because Mary the Ark of the Covenant is here. The contents of the Ark–the manna in the wilderness, the tablets of the law which are the word of God and the staff of Aaron the priest are no more because the true Bread of Heaven is here. The Word made flesh is here. The great high priest is here.

The cleansing of the temple then, is more than just getting rid of the wheeler dealers. Jesus is overturning not just the tables, but the whole Old Covenant. He gathers it up and fulfills it from the inside out.

That’s why he refers to the temple of his own body, because in the incarnation of Christ everything that the temple stood for: the law, the bread of heaven, the priesthood and the sacrificial system are all recapitulated in his own body.

When that body is destroyed through crucifixion the old covenant is destroyed for good and the new covenant is put in its place.

That’s why within the divine providence the great temple was literally destroyed thirty seven years later.

Jesus as the destroyer is not a very popular image maybe, but he will do the same in our culture and our own individual lives.

Everything that is impure, everything that is wood, hay and stubble, everything that is trash will be burnt up and everything that is good and gold will be refined by that fire and fulfilled with grace and goodness from the inside out.

In other words the temple you have built and all the things you worship will be cleansed.

Get ready for him to come to your temple with that same zeal to turn over your tables.