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Posts tagged [Pentecost]

Pentecost Sunday - 24 May 2015

Pentecost Sunday - 24 May 2015

  1. The first magnificent stone temple of the Jewish people was built in Jerusalem in around 950 BC. On the day of the dedication of this "Solomon's Temple," the shekinah, the glory of Yahweh, fire and cloud from heaven, which had been covering the Ark of the Covenant Mercy Seat in the Tent of Meeting, descended into the inner sanctuary of the new stone Temple.

 

  1. This became the assurance of the enduring divine presence of Yahweh that made Solomon's Temple both the centre and cantering place for the chosen people of God. The Temple was where God lived! The Seat of Mercy from which God spoke to the people.

 

  1. 500 years later, the Babylonians tear down the Temple and take the Jews into exile. By this time the Ark of the Covenant has disappeared from history and the visible shekinah of God’s presence no longer resides with the people.

 

  1. This results in a crisis of faith. So Ezra, Nehemiah, and Jeremiah convinced the people that they must go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple so God can once more be with them. But the visible sign of God’s presence no longer fills this new temple.

 

  1. This explains the growth of Pharisaism during the Second Temple period. The belief strong in Jesus' time that if they obeyed laws more perfectly; following absolute ritual, maintaining Sabbath purity; then the Glory of God would return to the Temple.

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