Let the ruins come to life

Glorious ruins

 

Fire…left alone to do its job, will consume everything.

This notion was ever so evident at one of the local churches in town. Left alone, the fire consumed all it could… leaving the church in complete ruins. In the wake of the fire, All that remained was a building and half of a previous sanctuary. What took this particular body of believers generations to build, was practically destroyed in one night. 

Left to ashes…
Left to dust…
Left to ruins…

I can’t imagine what it must have been like to arrive on the scene after the fire had died out. To look upon what remains and see nothing but destruction. A building that once was used to bring about love, compassion, generosity, and ultimately, worship to God, was now dust and ashes. What once was, was no more. A place that was created to provide a shelter of relief, a beacon of hope for the lost, a light in the darkness, was now apart of the darkness.

During the ancient biblical times of the old testament, the nation of Israel built a similar place of worship. They referred to it as the temple and it was here that they could come and pay honor to God, and also seek forgiveness of sins thru the shedding of animal blood. Around 586 BCE, this same temple was completely destroyed by a people race known as the Babylonians. What once was a place to seek God, ask for forgiveness, read scripture, and seek holiness, was destroyed.

What once was, was no more…

We are told in the creation story, that God created everything and that all that He created was “good.” In the mist of the creating, God created humanity in His image. I am always perplexed when I read this notion. We are talking about the holy, pure, righteous, just, compassionate, and sovereign creator of the universe. God, who has always been, and will always be, created for his enjoyment, man. Not only did he create us, but he made us in the likeness of Him.

We were made in His image…
We were made in His likeness…
We were made to be a reflection of who He was…

Somewhere along the way, however, we lost sight of that. We accepted the lie that we could be more than who He created us to be, that we could do this thing called life on our own. Like the church building in the beginning and the temple building, darkness overcame the light, and destruction followed. What once was a perfect union between God and his creation, was now in disconnect. The creator had cease to recognize his creation, nor did creation recognize its creator. I find this very interesting because later on, the writers of the bible began to refer to the human body as a “temple” of God.

And other words, our body was a holding place for our creator…

Our bodies were created in the likeness of God…
We allowed darkness to take reign in our lives…
The human temple of God was left in ruins…

I find this moment to be the most tragic in humanity’s history, yet be one of the most glorious moment in the restoration process of humanity. For we see in this moment, in our brokenness, in our disconnect, in our sin, in our ruins, God began a plan to restore his creation back to its pre-conditioned state. This plan would rebuild the human temple thru the sacrifice, blood shedding, and eventual death, burial, and resurrection of God himself in the form of man thru Jesus of which would be sufficient to reconnect creation back to its creator, to reestablish humanity’s relationship with God.

Restore…
Reconnect…
Reestablish…
Rebuild…

One of God’s faithful servants, Ezra, speaks to this amazing truth in the scriptures. He tells us, “For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem.” Ezra is literally speaking of two things that are and will happen.

The rebuilding of the physical temple of God…
The restoring of the human temple of God…

What was left in ruins, will be made beautiful again. God would give his people the ability to rebuild the house of God once more beginning in 538 BCE and finished in 515 BCE. It took 23 years to complete the rebuilding of the temple, and on the 3rd day of Adar in the 6th year of the reign of Darius The Great, the temple was finally complete.

After its destruction…
After its burial…
After its resurrection…
After the third day…

The temple was rebuilt…

This same picture is seen in the redemption (the act of being saved) story of humanity. God in the form of Jesus allows himself to be given as a perfect payment for our sins. All the sins of humanity, past, present, and future, were placed on him thru the cross, which allowed for the shedding of his blood, which was pleasing to God, by which creation was restored in rightful connection to its creator.

What once was, was no more. Thru fire, darkness, deceit, these buildings were destroyed. Thru water, light, and glory, these buildings were restored. What once was ruins, were made glorious again.
Our lives are no longer bound to the slavery of sin and the Law that condemns us. We are no longer disconnected from the giver of life, the sustainer of souls, the redeemer of humanity.

In Christ, the ruins have come to life…
In Christ, what once was, is again…
In Christ, our ruins are made glorious again…

The scriptures reminds us who we are in Christ and what we are made in Christ. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

So…
May you let your ruins come to life in the beauty of His name…
May you rise up from the ashes believing that God reigns forever…
May your soul find refuge in the shadow of His wings…
May you seek to love Him who made your ruins glorious…

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