A Desolate House

Matthew 23:38
“38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” Matthew 23:38

What a terrible declaration the Lord made to the religious leaders of Israel! The temple in Jerusalem had symbolized God’s earthly home and had been the center of Jewish life, culture, religion and worship for hundreds of years. To a people who had been under foreign rule, occupation and oppression for centuries, the last remaining source of cultural pride and religious significance was that their sacred temple was the home of Yahweh. And yet, as the Lord Jesus departed this earthly abode for the final time before His death and resurrection, He declared that as He left, so too would the Spirit of God leave the temple forever. Desolation! What a terrible word for God’s chosen to hear! And why did God leave the temple? Because the faith and religion of the worshipers in that temple was dead. They had missed the Messiah as He passed before their very eyes. And as He walked out of the temple and up to Calvary, the Spirit of God then found a new abode in the hearts of those under the New Covenant. Christian! Do you realize that you are the earthly dwelling place of the Most High! Not in a figurative sense either, but in a very real way, the Spirit of the Living God has taken up residence in your heart, mind and soul. As those redeemed of God through the glorious Gospel, it is our duty and privilege then to make this living temple a Holy and honorable abode for the Most High! With a great passion and sober heart, we must commit daily to the crucifying of our flesh so that this temple is pleasing and honoring to our Savior. Just as we would take great care to prepare our earthly homes for an honorable guest, it must be our life’s goal to surrender our fleshly desires in exchange for the Spiritual Fruit that brings such joy and honor to the most distinguished guest in all of the universe…the Holy Spirit. Let us not offer the Lord a desolate house to live in. A house that is weak in faith, weak in holiness and weak in obedience. As we consider God’s incredible gift of love, passion and sacrifice this Holy Week, “let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In Christ,

Pastor John