We sold our house and have moved into a small apartment awaiting our retirement in January. As I was boxing up my office, I browsed through my book, “Let’s Go to Israel: A Christian Guide to the Holy Land Sites.” As I thumbed through its pages, I ran across a graphic I made showing the family of Herod.
It had Herod the Great, a despicable man, but a “great” builder.” He was responsible for the “slaughter of the innocents” in Bethlehem. One of his sons, Herod Antipas, was the murderer of John the Baptizer. And his grandson, Herod Agrippa I, murdered James the brother of John, the sons of Zebedee.
Herod’s greatest achievement, arguably, was the magnificent temple in Jerusalem. That was the temple of the New Testament, the one Jesus passionately interacted with on many occasions. Remember how He “cleaned house” by driving out the merchants? “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a marketplace,” He said [John 2.16].
On another occasion, He stunned the religious leaders by saying, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” [Jon 2.19]. That really infuriated them. “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and You can rebuild it in three days? That’s ridiculous!” [John 2.20].
They never forgot that. In fact, they threw it is His face and used it as evidence in their plot to crucify Him [see Matthew 26.61]. Since He was referring to His body, it was only right that He came back to life on the third day after His burial.
Herod’s opulent temple was dismantled stone by stone in 70 AD by Roman soldiers. Not one stone was left standing - even to this day. And Herod? Well, he lives on, but only in infamy.
Jesus? We still go to our heavenly Father in His name. His passion for the house of God lives on. In fact, He is the Cornerstone of an everlasting building made up of believers from all ages [1 Peter 2.4-7].
Then His disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me. John 2.17