The River Of Life
The River Of Life
When we began our reading of the Old Testament, we saw that river that flowed out of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:10-15). Water was life. Battles are fought for wells. Later, as God leads Israel through the desert, He provides water from the Rock. Now, out of the very temple would flow a stream of life. The temple was the presence of God, and from it came these waters of life.
As we turn to the NT, we see that Jesus gives the true water that gives true life (John 4:10-14). He promised that out of those who believe would flow such living water (John 7:37-39). Those that drink of Him will never thirst (John 6:35). God’s people are His temple (Eph. 2:21-22). Those who come and drink of THIS water will never thirst for the presence of God.
We will end up our reading of the NT with the description of the city of God (again, where God dwells with His people) and there again we are told about such waters of life that nourish the trees that continually provide for the needs of the people.
Everyone that has ever tried to understand these last chapters of Ezekiel have found them difficult. My simple perspective is that they point to Jesus: the new temple (built from living stones), the new priesthood (made of ALL of God’s people and includes both Jews and Gentiles), the once for all sacrifice of Jesus for the remission of sins and reconciliation of the people, the perpetual high-priesthood of Jesus in the very presence of the Father.
Would an earthly temple made of hands be greater than God’s temple made up of His people? Would a restoration of physical land measuring some 60 by 90 miles and divided up by millions and millions of people be greater than Christ ruling over heaven and earth? Those are the kinds of problems everyone has in trying to understand Ezekiel in light of Jesus.
In him are hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 1:3). He is head over all rule and authority; in Him we have been made complete (Col. 1:10). In Him we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). In Him we find eternal life (1 John 2:25; 5:11, 13, 20). He will come again and we will be gathered to be with the Lord forever. “16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
In your reading of the Old Testament, don’t forget Jesus. If you miss HIM, you have missed all that God has promised.