Peace in the Middle East is elusive. A major obstacle is the status of Jerusalem. Especially the status of the Old City, which is all the Jerusalem there was in Jesus’ day. And in the Old City, especially the Temple Mount, where in 70 A.D. the Romans left not one stone upon another, as Jesus had prophesied.
The current ten weeks of bloodshed in Israel [written Dec, 2000] was sparked late in September when a leading Israeli politician, Ariel Sharon, paid a visit to the Temple Mount. Behind these tensions are the hopes of some Israelis and the fears of some Palestinians that the Jews will attempt to build a Third Temple on the Temple Mount. For thirteen centuries, the Islamic Dome of the Rock has stood where once stood the magnificent temples of Solomon and Herod.
Only God knows if, in fact, some Jews will one day succeed in rebuilding the temple. Even if they do, it will not be in fulfillment of any prophecy of Scripture. None exists. Nor will it meet with any approval from God. On the contrary, it will be in direct defiance of the very God who destroyed the temple in 70 A.D.
When Jesus the Messiah died on Calvary, the old temple worship ceased to have validity. God tore the temple veil in two from top to bottom. The book of Hebrews proclaims: “Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands… by his own blood he entered in once into the [heavenly] holy place… For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins… We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (9:11,12; 10:4,10).
If the Jews do rebuild the temple and again offer bulls and goats, it will be an absolute insult to Messiah Jesus, the One who offered Himself as the “once for all” sacrifice for Jew and Gentile alike.