Jesus cleansed the temple and it was with strong actions and words. Coins flying, cows and sheep running, doves flying.
John 2:16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
The reason I believe Jesus did this was because worship was to be sacred. The gathering area was to be sacred. It was not to be a common place for commerce and casual living.
I’ve been thinking these days on things that are sacred. Family is sacred. It’s something worth protecting even under great duress and at great cost. That’s something that has brought some comfort in recent years.
A person’s race is sacred and holy. It’s something to be honored and treasured, not abused or discarded. It goes to the core of the person.
Sexuality is something sacred. Not just our gender identity but also those identities coming together in sexual union in a marriage. It’s both of them that are God’s image, not just one gender. And when they come together there is life.
Life is sacred. To take it is a violation of that sacredness. No matter in what stage of development and growth.
Our bodies are sacred. It’s not something small to be casual about how we use our bodies. This includes not only how our bodies are used in union to another but also in how we eat and what we eat and how we respect our bodies.
There are many things sacred in this life. Very sacred. And when things are sacred, they are treated with great reverence and holiness, not like something that is common. There is higher protection and care over what is sacred.
The Holy and the Common
There is great danger when the holy becomes common. This happened in the time of Ezekiel.
“Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean;” (Ez 22:16)
“They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean” (Ez 44:23).
We have moved into a time when there is little distinguishing between the holy and the common. It is not a good place to be.
Even this evening I was convicted of this. On my way to go to Taco Bell for an easy supper, I realized that I am sacred. If I am sacred, and my body is sacred, then what I eat matters. Not just because of the issue of weight and looks, but because I am sacred. So I went home and cooked even though tired.
Why does the sacred matter?
Because the violation of the sacred is a violation of important purpose. And the violation of that shatters a human.
Consider those who are casual sexually and with multiple partners. Not speaking of the diseases that are so easily spread in the capillary of humanity, but it breaks a person down at the deepest level.
When a husband is intimate with his wife, what does it do to a rightfully delicate ego in the area of sexuality to know this his wife is comparing his performance with previous partners? It becomes about performance and less about union. And a wife, wondering if she brings satisfaction to her husband like the other women he may have been with. Again it plants the seed of doubt and becomes about performance.
Or how about when life is devalued? Cruelty, harsh words, malicious words on the internet and text, gossip, slander. These tear a person down, wondering if there is value in a life. What’s worse is the words and thoughts we have of ourselves. It breaks a person down and leads to sadness, depression, and sometimes even suicide.
The sacred matters. And our consequences of violating it are not God’s fault.
If someone takes a car and drives into a thick crowd of people killing some, it’s nonsensical to blame GM. Or when someone hijacks an airplane and flies it into a building, one wouldn’t even consider suing the maker of the aircraft.
It’s a violation of purpose.
The same thing happens when we violate what is sacred. It’s a violation of purpose. And it shatters the human. Sometimes in slow motion.
A person who overeats or eats a lot of junk digs their grave with their teeth.
We are sacred.
Sacred as image bearers of God.
Sacred as his children.
Sacred as ambassadors of reconciliation.
And there are many parts of us that are sacred, and should be treated as such.
We are not common.