It has stuck me profoundly, in my scripture reading before this Holy Week, just how "uncontainable" our Triune God (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is.
As humans, we continually try to put God in a box. That box can be literal (physical) or figurative (a box in our mind). As the Israelites wandered the desert, they realized that God needed a traveling home, so they put the ten commandments in an ornate box that was intricately designed down to the most minute detail. That box was called the Ark of the Covenant. It was God's dwelling place as they moved about in their journey.
Fast forward and King Solomon builds an awe inspiring temple in Jerusalem to be used as God's dwelling place among the people. 1st Kings and 2nd Chronicles describe, in great detail, the temple. The temple Solomon commissioned took seven years to build (the number of completion).
The temple consisted of the finest wood paneling from the mighty cedars of Lebanon. It's construction used the richest finished stones cut at the quarry so that no hammer, chisel, or iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.
Solomon commanded that the interior of the temple be overlaid with pure gold (45 thousand pounds worth). Around the temple walls were carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and flower blossoms - also overlaid with gold. The pillars of the doorposts were five sided and the giant doors were made of the best olive wood. He hired Hiram, a skilled metal worker, to make all of the bronze sculptures and utensils needed in the temple. There was a gold altar, table, and lampstands. Long story short, Solomon spared no expense on the Lord's dwelling place.
The ark of the covenant was then placed within the innermost sanctuary of the temple. A box within a box, if you will.
The last place mankind attempts to contain the Lord is in the grave where they laid Jesus' dead body. The last box. But God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit cannot be contained.
A box, no matter how ornate and beautiful cannot contain God.
Hell, to which Jesus descended after His death, because our sins were upon Him, could not hold Jesus.
The grave could not keep Jesus. With resurrection power, He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.
If there is one thing for certain, our God, the triune God, cannot be contained. Praise! Furthermore, as believers in Jesus as our Savior, the resurrection power of Jesus resides in us. In Him we are more than conquerors. We know how the story ends. Perfect love casts out fear forever.
Even though the dwelling places of God have been destroyed or lost - the Ark of the Covenant's disappearance is a mystery. Solomon's temple was destroyed - burned, plundered, and pillaged by the Babylonians...much like the burning of God's beautiful dwelling place in Paris (Notre Dame).
Praise that the Lord is not able to be contained or destroyed by the boxes in which our minds put Him.
Solomon, himself said: "But will God indeed live on earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain you, much less this temple I have built." (1 Kings 8:27)
Though stained glass may shatter and gold may melt, the power of the Lord will never come to an end. God is the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end. Only through the death of his precious Son can we be reconciled to God.
The Good News is that the Lord is undestroyable. He is bigger than the
boxes that we relegate Him to. That is certainly reason to kneel in reverence and praise to the Lord this Easter. Let's celebrate, together, the uncontainable, undestroyable, defeater of the box - our Lord and Savior.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you that You are Creator God above everything and anything. Forgive us for trying to literally or figuratively put You in a box. Help us, through this Easter journey, to come to a new and profound reassurance that You are above all; You are uncontainable. Though we build beautiful temples for You, we praise you that You are undestroyable. Your love never ends. Your compassion and mercy sent Your only Son to the cross for my sins. Let me contemplate this indescribable love deep within my soul. Let me take the gift of salvation and walk forward in the Freedom You've granted me. I will praise Your name forever. In Jesus' holy name I pray, Amen.
What about you? What does Easter mean to you personally? What can you take from the Easter experience forward into how you live your life? What reassurance does Jesus death and resurrection bring you? Will you share?
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