2 Chronicle 7:1-10 – More Than Just Our Buddy: The Essentialness of Jesus Christ

Posted: July 23, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 7:1-10

The Dedication of the Temple

Opening Illustration/Comments

Have you ever thought about salvation? That moment in our lives where it all finally comes together in our mind and in our heart that we are desperate sinners who deserve to be sentenced to hell by a righteous and just God and we fall on our knees before Him and beg for His mercy by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. In that moment of salvation, that acceptance is felt not only intellectually but physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some of us, like myself, can point to a specific moment in time when all of that came together in a single, distinctive, distinguishable moment. For others, it is a gradual thing that may take several months or years to become fully complete. Either way, there is a point at which salvation occurs or has been completed. At that moment, we are made holy in the righteousness and purity of Jesus Christ. His perfection and sinlessness allowed Him to be out atoning sacrifice on the cross at Golgotha.

Because God said that this new altar of sacrifice (the cross on which Jesus was crucified) a sacrifice for sin was made. Since Jesus was God in the flesh. He was perfection and purity in a way no other sacrifice had been before Him. Therefore, His sacrifice on the cross was the one that ended the Old Testament sacrificial system. It was finished with His once and for all, final sacrifice. He was the best atoning sacrifice ever so there is no need for any other. All the previous sacrifices in the Old Testament were a likeness of, a pointer to, and practice for, this once and final sacrifice at Golgotha.

So, even though Jesus died on the cross 2,000 or so years ago, the moment at which we look to Jesus as our atoning sacrifice on the cross, we acquire from Him, His purity and His righteousness. He grants us this purity and righteousness as a free gift to us. All we have done is asked Him to save us from our own wretchedness and rebellion against God. It is like a prisoner asking for a stay of execution. We have done nothing that gives us a legal leg-up in the Court of God so we cannot leverage our salvation or do community service (earning our way) to regaining a right standing before the Lord. We are permanently branded by our sins and we cannot go back and fix them and say “here, God, I made it all back to square one”. Once we have sinned one sin, we are done. We are forever tainted by our first sin not to mention the lifetime of daily sins that we commit. Therefore, our salvation and the resulting imputed righteousness acquired from Jesus as a His gift to us is not anything we deserve. It is a glorious gift in that it makes us holy before God because of Jesus, not because of us. When God looks at us after salvation, He sees Jesus’ covering of perfection.

So, only Jesus makes us holy through our acceptance of Him as our Savior and our understanding that He is no mere man but the Son of God who died for our sins, was buried and arose from the dead. That and that alone makes us holy.

It is that idea of “only Jesus” that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 7:1-10. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

Chapter 7

1 When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. 2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying,

“He is good!

    His faithful love endures forever!”

4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people dedicated the Temple of God. 6 The priests took their assigned positions, and so did the Levites who were singing, “His faithful love endures forever!” They accompanied the singing with music from the instruments King David had made for praising the Lord. Across from the Levites, the priests blew the trumpets, while all Israel stood.

7 Solomon then consecrated the central area of the courtyard in front of the Lord’s Temple. He offered burnt offerings and the fat of peace offerings there, because the bronze altar he had built could not hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and sacrificial fat.

8 For the next seven days Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters.[a] A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. 9 On the eighth day they had a closing ceremony, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the Festival of Shelters for seven days. 10 Then at the end of the celebration,[b] Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and glad because the Lord had been so good to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that God sent fire from heaven to consume the offering and to begin the fire that was to burn continuously under the altar of burnt offering (see Leviticus 6:8-13) at the newly constructed Temple. This perpetual fire symbolized God’s presence. God also sent fire when the Tabernacle was inaugurated during Israel’s time in the Sinai desert. The sending of God’s presence (via fire) was the real dedication of the Temple in that only God’s purifying power can make something holy.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that nothing that you or I do makes us holy. We can act holy. We can, as we say in the South, “put on airs” and act as if we are holy but it is a falsehood. Only Jesus makes us holy at the moment that salvation is complete. His holiness is imputed to us like a mattress cover over our souls. He makes our soul holy. It is only then that the Holy Spirit can come into our souls and take up residence. It is through this imputed holiness that the Holy Spirit can begin the lifelong work of sanctification, battling our sinful desires until we are perfected on the day we meet Jesus in heaven. We still sin but through the Holy Spirit he begins a work in us to turn us away from each one of our sin habits until that day we are done here and we are perfect before God in heaven.

Thus, let us remember the humility that should come along with our salvation and should stay with us throughout our post-salvation life here on earth. We are only holy because Jesus’ claim on our lives. Only God is holy and we are certainly not. Our only claim to holiness comes from our association through salvation with Jesus Christ. That makes Him more than just our buddy. That makes him more than just a nice guy. That makes him ESSENTIAL. Why? Because only Jesus can make us holy.

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s