"Interrupted by a Wedding" (Ch. 23); "Jesus the Temple" (Ch. 24)

"Created to Draw Near" by Edward T. Welch  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:09
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A summary and discussion of chapters 23-24 of "Created to Draw Near" by Edward Welch


Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God’s Royal Priests by Edward T. Welch

“Interrupted by a Wedding” (Chapter 23)

John 2:1 NIV
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,
The Third Day
Third Day of What?
Third day since the Jesus’ baptism (John 1)?
Third day of the week?
Third day of the wedding ceremony?
Something deeper?
A better wedding after Jesus’ death and resurrection
John’s counting of days anchored in Passover
Day 1: Jesus is crucified on Friday, the day of preparation for Passover.
Day 2: Jesus “rests” in the tomb on Saturday, the Sabbath.
Day 3: Jesus is resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week.
Water to Wine
Cleansing water for purification at Passovers and weddings
Jesus turned this water into wine, symbolizing his blood of the new covenant (1 Cor. 11:25).
Cleansing water is now replaced by the blood of Jesus, which alone can cleanse from sin.
Foreshadowing Another “Third Day”
This “third day” at the beginning of John prepares us for another parallel “third day” at the end of John.
The “Third Day” of Jesus’ resurrection is now the “First Day” - a new beginning/creation
Day 6: Adam and Eve are created; Jesus is revealed as “the man” (Jn. 19:5), the second Adam, at his crucifixion.
Day 7: God rests; Jesus “rests” on the Sabbath.
Day 1: Re-creation begins. The light dawns. Jesus inaugurates the new creation with his resurrection, and the most intimate of walks await us.
“This, writes John, is a new day. The Passover has finally caught up to its true meaning in the sacrifice of God’s Lamb. The temple, and its promise of God’s presence, has given way to the picture of marriage. We are royal priests, and we are bride priests. Priestly nearness to God cannot quite capture the intimacy that has been God’s goal with us, so Scripture is merging another identity.” - Edward Welch
Isaiah 62:5 NIV
5 As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Holiness is not the ultimate goal; communion with God is.
Holiness is the means God uses to draw us near to him.
John 17:20–24 NIV
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
“Fellowship, bound up with worship, praise, and downright enjoyment, is what we are after. And it all rests on his nearness and invitation to draw closer.” - Edward Welch

“Jesus the Temple” (Chapter 24)

John 2:13–15 NIV
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
Light to the Nations
The temple itself and its courts were walled and reserved for Israelites.
Gentiles were permitted in a large courtyard beyond these walls.
In this area, open to all worshipers, worship had been replaced by commerce.
The temple was intended to be a light to the nations, but worship of Gentiles was being disrupted.
Jesus was angry when the nations were kept from seeking the Lord.
Build a Temple in 3 Days?
John 2:19–21 NIV
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
The temple building would indeed be destroyed.
Jesus’ body would not be destroyed but would be raised from the dead to be the living temple.
Matthew 21:42 NIV
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
“Jesus is the temple, John writes. God’s signposts have always pointed to Jesus. The temple is a copy; Jesus is the original. Worship is now centered on him. His body and his blood became our way to pass through the veil that quarantined the Most Holy Place. If you want to see something more magnificent than the glimmering temple that once stood over all Jerusalem, look at Jesus.” - Edward Welch
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