"LORD OF GLORY"
I. THE MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE, "WHAT MANNER OF STONES AND WHAT BUILDINGS ARE HERE."
A. Herod the great was a superb builder, all over Israel you can today see the ruins of the great and elaborate buildings that were built during his reign.
1. The winter palaces of Jericho and Masada.
2. The Herodian fortress.
3. The Western wall of the Temple mount.
4. The amphitheater at Cesaerea as well as the ruins of the breakwater.
B. It was his desire to make the temple his grandest building ever, and the one that would forever engrave his name in history.
1. When in a speech to the people he first told of his desire to build a new temple, the plans that were presented were so grandiose, that the people felt that it could never be built,
a. They felt that he would probably just destroy the temple that had been rebuilt by Ezra and Zerubbabel, and never be able to finish the new temple.
b. To allay their fears, he gathered all the materials before the beginning of the project.
2. The height of the temple built by Zerubbabel was only 90 feet, according to the limitations that had been set by the Persian king, Herod wanted to add another 60 cubits to the height a total of 120 cubits, or 180 feet high, about as high as a eighteen story building.
3. The temple was to be surrounded by large buildings, porches, and colonnades.
4. It was to made of the white Jerusalem stone which was highly polished.
5. Josephus tells us that the stones were 25 cubits long, 8 cubits high, and 12 cubits thick, or 37 feet long, 12 feet high, and 18 feet thick.
6. No wonder the disciples were calling the attention of Jesus to the stones and the buildings.
II. THE PROPHECY OF JESUS. "DO YOU SEE THESE BUILDINGS? THERE SHALL NOT BE LEFT ONE STONE STANDING UPON ANOTHER, THAT SHALL NOT BE THRONE DOWN."
A. The likelihood of this prophecy being fulfilled is next to zero.
1. This whole great complex of buildings is going to be so thoroughly destroyed, that not one stone will be left standing upon another.
2. This is probably one of the most unlikely predictions that Jesus ever made.
3. This one prediction can forever establish Him as a true or false prophet.
B. All over the old world you can find the ruins of temples that were built even before this temple still standing.
1. In Athens Greece you have the Parthenon with the ruins of temples that were not nearly as great and massive as the Temple in Jerusalem.
2. In the Agura below, the ruins of the great temple of Jupiter still marvelously preserved.
3. Throughout Turkey the ruins of the cities of Ephesus, Pergamus, with the many structures still standing.
4. Even throughout Israel you see the buildings and projects that were done by Herod the Great still standing, and they boggle the mind by their massiveness.
5. The Western Wall, that was built by Herod as a retaining wall to enlarge the Temple Mount still stands, many stones upon another, some of these stones are as long as 45 feet, and 5 feet high and 8 feet thick.
C. You can walk around the Temple Mount today, and not find a single trace as to where the Temple built by Herod once stood.
1. In one area near the Dome of the Spirits, at the bottom of the stairs, there is a row of 13 great stones that today comprise a part of the pavement. Dr. Assur Koffman thinks that they possibly were a part of the foundation stones of the back wall of the Temple, still not one stone is standing upon another.
2. Herod intended that this Temple be a permanent monument to him, but God had other plans.
3. If there were any traces of the great temple today, a portion of a wall, even some of the great stones still lying around the Temple mount on top of each other, Jesus would rightly be branded as a false prophet.
4. But there is nothing, zero, da natha.
D. Many of the stones were pushed over the Western wall, and crashed on the pavement of the road going down the Terropian Valley. The area of the Western Wall where the Jews pray today is about 60 feet above the level of the valley floor at the time of Jesus. Underneath the present stones, are the huge stones that once were a part of the great Temple complex that stood on the mount above.
III. ANOTHER REMARKABLE PROPHECY OF JESUS HERE IN MARK 13
. BUT IN THOSE DAYS, AFTER THAT TRIBULATION, THE SUN SHALL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT, AND THE STARS OF HEAVEN SHALL FALL, AND THE POWERS THAT ARE IN HEAVEN SHALL BE SHAKEN. AND THEN SHALL THEY SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN THE CLOUDS WITH GREAT POWER AND GLORY.
A. The prophecy of Jesus coming again, in power and great glory.
1. It will follow a time of unprecedented evil and turmoil on the earth.
2. A time of great earthquakes, pestilences, and famines.
3. A time of wars and conflicts with weapons that are so exotic that man would actually be able to destroy himself off of the planet. Man will become an endangered species, saving rats and mice seems to be higher on the agenda of many of the tree huggers, and the worshippers of mother earth, than preserving man. The world is crazy except for me and you, and sometimes I wonder about you. The inmates are running the institution.
B. Should you ever doubt that Jesus is coming again, you should just travel to Jerusalem and go up on the Temple Mount and see if you can find any traces or vestiges of the Temple that was built by Herod.
C. Just as sure as there is nothing left, not one stone upon another is the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory to this earth.
D. His first coming was as a Servant, obedient unto the will of His Father, to give His life as a Sacrifice for man's sin.
1. He said that He did not seek His own will, but the will of His Father who sent Him.
2. In the garden of Gethsemene He prayed, "Not My will, but Thy will be done."
3. Paul tells us that He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
E. The coming again of Jesus the Messiah, this time in power and glory clears up seeming discrepancies in the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. For there are prophecies of His being despised and rejected, mutilated and killed, as well as His reigning over the whole earth in a glorious utopia.
1. The disciples were even confused on this issue. They were expecting the glorious reign of Jesus over the world when He was here.
2. Every time Jesus would make reference to His death on the cross, the disciples were confused, Peter even took it upon himself to rebuke Jesus for such talk.
3. Paul spoke of the cross being a stumbling block to the Jews. Their concept of the Messiah reigning in glory and power was far different from a Messiah being hung on a cross.
F. Let it be affirmed in the strongest terms, "Jesus is coming again."
G. Verse 32, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, neither the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, only the Father."
1. Any predictions that man may make as to the timing of the coming of the Lord, seeking to place it within certain parameters is doomed to bring disappointment and shame to the one making the prediction.
2. Jesus said, "No man knows the day or the hour" in the Greek it means that no man knows the day or the hour.
3. There were certain signs given to let us know when we were getting close.
4. One of those signs was given in the Psalm that we read today. Ps.102:16
"When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory."
5. The rebirth of the nation of Israel tells us that we are getting close.
6. Seemingly unsolvable national problems tell us that we are getting close. "Distress of nations, with perplexity."
7. Exotic new viruses tell us we are getting close.
8. Many things that tell us we are getting close, and the time has come to obey the last word of the chapter. "Watch"