The Jewish temple, since it was demolished by the Romans in AD 70, has not been rebuilt. In its place, sits the Dome of the Rock that belongs to the Muslims. Only the Western “wailing” wall of the temple remains.
It is revealed to Ezekiel thousands of years ago that a new temple will be built and specifications are given down to the smallest detail. Although this revelation was six hundred years before Jesus’ birth some designs in the new temple pointed forward to Him. The wall carvings are fascinating, showing God’s marvellous wisdom. It says:
In the space above the outside of the entrance to the inner sanctuary and on the walls at regular intervals all around the inner and outer sanctuary were carved cherubim and palm trees. Palm trees alternated with cherubim. Each cherub had two faces: the face of a human being toward the palm tree on one side and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the other. They were carved all around the whole temple.
In the new temple, the seemingly innocuous carvings on the walls hold a deeper meaning that reminds worshippers of whom they were worshipping. It still applies to us today.
Note that the cherubim has two faces, one of a human and one of a lion. Doesn’t it ring a bell? The reference to Jesus’ dual natures of deity and humanity is overwhelming. Jesus, the lion of Judah and Jesus, the Son of Man.
Those carvings were to remind worshippers as they entered the temple that they were to worship Jesus. A popular worship song chorus goes:
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship,
and it’s all about you,
it’s all about you Jesus.”
– Heart of Worship, Matt Redman
Worship is all about Jesus – the Son of God and Son of Man. Not only do we worship Jesus for who He is, we worship Him for what He did for us. That’s what the palm tree represents.
In Selwyn Hughes’ book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success, he highlighted that the palm tree provides material with hundreds of different uses. It represents work. What work did Jesus do? He lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. That’s why we worship Him.
The alternating cherub and palm tree carvings on the temple walls serve as a reminder to us that we worship Jesus for who He is and what He has done. We must balance both aspects of worship for completeness.
I’ll be looking forward to that new temple in the future. Even more, we’ll meet Jesus Himself.