Out of Sync at Easter #E100
I will NOT post about the weather. Suffice to say it is not especially… seasonal.
Just like my E100 readings (which I will post about).
Usually, at Easter, I would be on my usual Easter theme, having an eavesdrop at the Passover meal, imagining I was a stone at the roadside going into Jerusalem, joining Pilate in his quest for “truth”…
This year I find myself not only wearing a winter coat, I find myself in the book of 2nd Kings in the old testament.
The last summary I posted wound up with Ruth, who was going to turn out to be the grandmother (or thereabouts) of King David.
But before we got to David, we had Samuel who seemed to be the only sensible guy of his generation. Then Samuel went out and anointed David as King, but I think (losing track) this was after he had already anointed Saul as King.
And Saul was the king, but he was only the king because the people had got impatient wanting a King. So David got selected to take over and this then led to an awkward relationship between the King and the Heir.
Luckily for Saul, David (to begin with) was a good guy and didn’t do a Macbeth and murder his way to the top. I think.
So eventually David is the King and it’s all going swimmingly until he decides to break just about all of the ten commandments by getting himself involved with Bathsheba. So, he covets a neighbour’s wife, commits adultery, is deceitful, sort of commits murder, effectively, and then it just all goes horribly wrong in every way imaginable.
However, his son Solomon takes over as King and builds a temple. Hurray!
But in today’s reading the temple gets completely destroyed by some raiding Babylonians. Like, completely. And they take Judah (?) to Babylon (so that someone can write “By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down, yeah we wept, when we remembered Zion” and all that.)
The rest of them go and hide in Egypt.
So, it’s all a bit bleak for the Chosen People in my readings just now.
However, I need to steer this back to Easter, what with it being Easter.
The destruction of the temple reminded me of an image Jesus spoke about when anticipating the events of Easter. This story comes quite early in John’s gospel:
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
The Jews then responded to him, “What 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.”
They 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.
So, now I am thinking about the symbolism of the original temple that was built in the reign of Solomon – as place to make sacrifices for sin. That way of life was then completely destroyed and removed, and the people were physically taken from the place where they were identifiable as a nation of God’s people.
Now, clearly at some point the temple is going to be rebuilt before the time of Jesus – and the people will have to physically return from Babylon and Egypt? And it’ll take a while to rebuild it to get back to Solomon’s vision.
So I am looking forward to that part of the story – although I can’t see any Ezra and Nehemiah on the reading plan. It has been absolute scandal and carnage for a couple of weeks now. The people in the story could do with some good news.