Lent | 3.13.12
2 Chronicles 29:1-11, 16-19
Today’s scripture passages all deal with the Dwelling Place of God and serve as fitting reminders for us as we prepare to journey toward and through the Passion of our Lord, His death on the cross and His glorious resurrection from the grave.
In 2 Chronicles 29, we read about the young King Hezekiah who “did right in the sight of the Lord” (v.2, NASB) by starting his reign with the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem that had been desecrated during the reign of his father, King Ahaz. He told the priests to consecrate themselves and consecrate the house of the Lord, and to “carry the uncleanness out from the holy place” (v. 5). The priests did so and the Temple was restored as a place of worship and sacrifice. As we focus on preparing ourselves during this season, let’s not forget to consecrate the Temple that is our heart, removing the “uncleanness” that we’ve allowed to build up so that we may truly offer up praise to God and present ourselves as a “living sacrifice.”
In Hebrews 9, we see where Christ himself consecrates the Dwelling Place of God, preparing it for us by offering himself up as the ultimate sacrifice “to bear the sins of many” so that we could have “salvation without reference to sin” (v. 28). We can, and should, do all that we can to cleanse ourselves, but it is great to know that Christ is the one who truly prepares us to dwell with God.
Finally, Psalm 84 beautifully reminds us of the Dwelling Place that we inherit as God’s children. Because Christ died and was resurrected from the dead, we are able to sing with the Psalmist, “How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts” (v. 1) and “a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside” (v. 10).
My prayer today, and I hope each day, is that God reminds me of the need to constantly consecrate and cleanse myself, of the fact that He alone is the ultimate sacrifice, and that because of that sacrifice, we can dwell with Him forever.
Director of Service-Learning
You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at:http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf