Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 272

The Temple Cleansed Again

This chapter is based on Matthew 21:12-16, 23-46; Mark 11:15-19, 27-33; 12:1-12; Luke 19:45-48; 20:1-19.

At the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who defiled it by their unholy business dealings. His stern and godlike bearing had struck terror in the scheming traders.

At the close of His mission, He came to the temple again and found it still profaned like it was before—with the cries of animals, the sharp chinking of coin, and the sound of angry disputes. The dignitaries of the temple themselves were buying and selling. They were so completely controlled by greed for gain that they were no better than thieves in the sight of God.

At every Passover and Feast of Tabernacles, thousands of animals were killed, their blood caught by the priests and poured on the altar. The Jews had almost lost sight of the fact that sin was what made all this shedding of blood necessary. They did not recognize that it prefigured the blood of God’s dear Son that would be shed for the life of the world.

Jesus saw how the Jews had made these great gatherings into scenes of bloodshed and cruelty. They had multiplied the sacrifice of animals, as if God could be honored by a heartless service. The priests and rulers had made the symbols pointing to the Lamb of God a way of making money. To a great degree, this had destroyed the sacredness of the sacrificial service. Jesus knew that the priests and elders would not appreciate His blood, so soon to be shed for the sins of the world, just as they had little appreciation for the blood of animals!

Through the prophets, Christ had spoken against these practices. In prophetic vision Isaiah saw apostasy of the Jews and addressed them:

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.”...
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.”

Isaiah 1:11, 16

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