Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 42-43
Ezekiel 43 provides some interesting imagery concerning the temple. Nebuchadnezzar had completely razed Solomon’s temple, even to the destruction of its foundation. In the minds of the Israelites, reconstructing the temple would be vital to the restoration of the nation. Through the prophet, God promised the temple would be rebuilt. Moreover, of this temple He said, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.” One should not read this text without thinking of the One whose feet would trod the floors of this temple. Indeed, God Himself, God incarnate (John 1:1, 14), worshipped in and identified with this yet to be built temple (John 2:19). One more thought concerning Jesus and this temple – Ezekiel says he was brought to the gate which faced toward the east. When Jesus was born, the wise men saw His star “in the East” (Matt 2:2). Also, the sun rises in the east to give its light to the world. Finally, the voice of God is described in Ezekiel 43:2 as “like the sound of many waters.” This is the EXACT description of the voice of Jesus in Revelation 1:12-18. This and the hundreds of other references are why it is so important for us to study these Old Testament texts!
New Testament reading: Romans 4-6
Here is a brief summary outline of Romans 6. Christians are freed from the PRACTICE of sin – “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (v 1-2). Christians are freed from the POWER of sin – “Sin shall not have dominion over you” (v 14). Christians are freed from the PRODUCE of sin – “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” (v 21). Christians are freed from the PENALTY of sin – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (v 23). It must be noted that all these to whom Paul was writing had been baptized (immersed) into Christ (cf Gal 3:27). It was at their baptism that these had been raised in newness of life (i.e., born again – 1 Peter 1:22-23). There is neither freedom nor newness of life apart from the baptism commanded by Jesus (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38).