If there were a Bible top trump set you can be sure that King David would be one of the better cards. He achieved so much, sure he had some blips on the way but these we emphasised by his goodness. It is the story of one of these blips that has captured my attention this week. King David takes a census. Nothing wrong with that you may think, but this action is directly against what God has commanded so God gives David a choice of punishments. David chooses to be punished by God because he would rather fall on the mercy of God than the mercy of men. Smart King.
A plague wipes out 70,000, and then God sends His angel to Jerusalem to smash it. But it becomes too much for God and He extends His mercy calling the angel off as he is poised over the threshing floor of Araunah. It’s at this point that David looks out and sees the angel with his sword drawn, poised and David is faced with the place where God’s wrath meets God’s mercy. This threshing floor goes on to be the site of the temple. This visual representation of the wrath/mercy smack down captivated me. I went on to imagine creating metaphoric temples in all the places where I saw wrath meeting mercy including my own life. I started sharing my brilliant idea with other Christians. And then…
Then someone turned round and went ‘That’s like Jesus, isn’t it?’ And it is. In my excitement I missed the obvious. I don’t need to construct metaphoric temples because the temple of Jesus was destroyed and rebuilt in three days. When I look out at all the places where God’s wrath should fall, including my own life, I see Jesus not a building – metaphorical or otherwise.
John 2:19-22 ‘Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.’