Ezekiel 40:49
The portico was twenty cubits wide and twelve cubits deep, and ten steps led up to it. There were columns by the side pillars, one on each side.
Sermons
The Steps of the SanctuaryEzekiel 40:49


What would a temple be with no priesthood to minister at its altars, to present the offerings of its worshippers? The priests give meaning and interest to the temple, not only to the scenery of its services, but to its great purpose and aim. The mention in this passage of the priests who dwelt and ministered within the temple precincts suggests reflections of a more general character regarding the office and those who were called to undertake it.

I. HUMANITY IS CONSTITUTED FOR CONSCIOUS AND HAPPY RELATIONS OF INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

II. HUMANITY IS BY SIN RENDERED MORALLY UNFIT FOR SUCH FELLOWSHIP.

III. PRIESTHOOD IS APPOINTED BY GOD HIMSELF AS THE MEDIUM BY WHICH SUCH FELLOWSHIP MAY BE RESTORED AND MAINTAINED.

IV. THE EXERCISE OF THE PRIESTLY OFFICE IS A PERPETUAL EXPRESSION OF MAN'S DEPENDENCE FOR EVERY BLESSING UPON GOD.

V. THE OFFICE OF THE PRIESTHOOD IS ESPECIALLY DESIGNED TO RESTORE THE INTERRUPTED HARMONY OF MORAL RELATIONS BETWEEN MAN AND GOD.

VI. AND TO PRESENT TO GOD FROM MAN THE TRIBUTE AND OFFERING EVER DUE.

VII. THE HEBREW PRIESTHOOD WAS INTENDED TO PREFIGURE AND TO PREPARE FOR THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE SON OF GOD.

APPLICATION. The priesthood, as exercised among the Jews, has for us an interest more than historic. It foreshadowed facts and principles which could only reach their perfect fulfillment and realization in the mediation of Christ. The Jewish priesthood ought not to be regarded as merely typical; it expressed Divine and eternal truths. At the same time, the sacerdotal office of the Lord Jesus cannot he placed upon the same level as the ministry of the temple at Jerusalem. That which was fully exhibited in him was but faintly outlined in his predecessors. Christ's was the real offering, the true sacrifice. And this is made perfectly plain by the provision that he should have no successor in the work of atonement. Yet it must not be forgotten that there is a function of priesthood which is perpetual in the Church - the function of obedience and of praise. In this all true Christians - ministers and worshippers alike - take part. This unceasing offering and sacrifice ascends from the heart-altars of the faithful throughout the spiritual temple of the living God. And this comes up with acceptance through him who is the High Priest of our profession, by whom all offerings that his people present to Heaven are laid upon the upper altar, and are well pleasing to the King and Savior of all. - T.









And he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it.
There are no such steps as these to be found anywhere in the world. A step to honour, a step to riches, a step to worldly glory: these are everywhere, but what are these to the steps by which men do ascend to the house of the Lord! He, then, that entereth into the house of the Lord is an ascending man; as it is said of Moses, he went up into the mount of God. It is ascending to go into the house of God. The world believe not this; they think it is going downwards to go up to the house of God. The steps, then, by which men go up into the temple are, and ought to be, opposed to those which men take to their lusts and empty glories. Hence such steps are said not only to decline from God, but to take hold of the path to death and hell (Psalm 44:18; Proverbs 2:18).

( John Bunyan.).

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