God gave Ezekiel, a priest, the measurements of Solomon’s temple. The temple had been destroyed at the beginning of the captivity.  God reveals his perfect kingdom. The details of his vision gave the Jews hope for a restored worship and show us the importance and beauty of true God-centered worship. 

But, don’t get caught up in the place.  It’s not about the measured physical details of the room but rather WHO we worship in the space provided for this purpose that makes it beautiful.  Yes, it is beautiful when God’s people come to worship Him in spirit and in truth.  It is beautiful when we leave His place of worship to tell the world Who He is—Savior and Lord!  How beautiful to God when we trust and obey with hearts of love and praise!

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah 52:7 NIV

It’s the Holy Spirit who awakens in us an understanding of God’s beauty and splendor and power. It’s the Holy Spirit who stirs us to celebrate and rejoice and give thanks. It’s the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to see and savor all that God is for us in Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit who, I hope and pray, orchestrates our services and leads us in corporate praise of God.  I’m recalling Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well…

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared“I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”  John 4:23-26, NIV

Ezekiel 41, The Message

1-2 He brought me into the Temple itself and measured the doorposts on each side. Each was ten and a half feet thick. The entrance was seventeen and a half feet wide. The walls on each side were eight and three-quarters feet thick.

He also measured the Temple Sanctuary: seventy feet by thirty-five feet.

3-4 He went further in and measured the doorposts at the entrance: Each was three and a half feet thick. The entrance itself was ten and a half feet wide, and the entrance walls were twelve and a quarter feet thick. He measured the inside Sanctuary, thirty-five feet square, set at the end of the main Sanctuary. He told me, “This is The Holy of Holies.”

5-7 He measured the wall of the Temple. It was ten and a half feet thick. The side rooms around the Temple were seven feet wide. There were three floors of these side rooms, thirty rooms on each of the three floors. There were supporting beams around the Temple wall to hold up the side rooms, but they were freestanding, not attached to the wall itself. The side rooms around the Temple became wider from first floor to second floor to third floor. A staircase went from the bottom floor, through the middle, and then to the top floor.

8-11 I observed that the Temple had a ten-and-a-half-foot-thick raised base around it, which provided a foundation for the side rooms. The outside walls of the side rooms were eight and three-quarters feet thick. The open area between the side rooms of the Temple and the priests’ rooms was a thirty-five-foot-wide strip all around the Temple. There were two entrances to the side rooms from the open area, one placed on the north side, the other on the south. There were eight and three-quarters feet of open space all around.

12 The house that faced the Temple courtyard to the west was one hundred twenty-two and a half feet wide, with eight-and-three-quarters-foot-thick walls. The length of the wall and building was one hundred fifty-seven and a half feet.

13-14 He measured the Temple: one hundred seventy-five feet long. The Temple courtyard and the house, including its walls, measured a hundred seventy-five feet. The breadth of the front of the Temple and the open area to the east was a hundred seventy-five feet.

15-18 He measured the length of the house facing the courtyard at the back of the Temple, including the shelters on each side: one hundred seventy-five feet. The main Sanctuary, the inner Sanctuary, and the vestibule facing the courtyard were paneled with wood, and had window frames and door frames in all three sections. From floor to windows the walls were paneled. Above the outside entrance to the inner Sanctuary and on the walls at regular intervals all around the inner Sanctuary and the main Sanctuary, angel-cherubim and palm trees were carved in alternating sequence.

18-20 Each angel-cherub had two faces: a human face toward the palm tree on the right and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the left. They were carved around the entire Temple. The cherubim–palm tree motif was carved from floor to door height on the wall of the main Sanctuary.

21-22 The main Sanctuary had a rectangular doorframe. In front of the Holy Place was something that looked like an altar of wood, five and a quarter feet high and three and a half feet square. Its corners, base, and sides were of wood. The man said to me, “This is the table that stands before God.”

23-26 Both the main Sanctuary and the Holy Place had double doors. Each door had two leaves: two hinged leaves for each door, one set swinging inward and the other set outward. The doors of the main Sanctuary were carved with angel-cherubim and palm trees. There was a canopy of wood in front of the vestibule outside. There were narrow windows alternating with carved palm trees on both sides of the porch.


“The Holy of Holies” – Where God Presence comes to dwell.  The Most Holy Place, or Holy of Holies, was a part of the temple no one could enter. Jewish worshipers could enter the outer court, but only the priests could enter the Holy Place. And no one, except the high priest on one day a year, entered the Most Holy Place. No one. Why? Because the shekinah glory—the glory of God—was present there. No one but the high priest entered the Most Holy Place. No one. To do so meant death. A heavy curtain was the barrier between God and man.  The curtain signified this far and no farther. 

What did fifteen hundred years of a curtain-draped Most Holy Place communicate? Simple. God is holy. Separate from us and unapproachable.  God is holy, and we are sinners, and there is a distance between us.  God cannot come and be in the same room with sin.  Isn’t this our problem? We know God is good. We know we are not, and we feel far from God. The ancient words of Job are ours, “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together” (Job 9:32–33).

Max Lucado eloquently declares; “Oh, but there is! Jesus hasn’t left us with an unapproachable God. Yes, God is holy. Yes, we are sinful. But, yes, yes, yes, Jesus is our Mediator. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5). Is not a mediator one who “goes between”? Wasn’t Jesus the curtain between us and God? And wasn’t his flesh torn?”

“What appeared to be the cruelty of man was actually the sovereignty of God. Matthew tells us: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split” (Matthew 27:50–51).  It’s as if the hands of heaven had been gripping the veil, waiting for this moment. Keep in mind the size of the curtain—60 feet tall and 30 feet wide. One instant it was whole; the next it was ripped in two from top to bottom. No delay. No hesitation.” (Lucado)

What did the torn curtain mean? For the Jews it meant no more barrier between them and the Most Holy Place. No more priests to go between them and God. No more animal sacrifices to atone for their sins. And for us? What did the torn curtain signify for us?  We are welcome to enter into God’s presence—any day, any time. God has removed the barrier that separates us from him. The barrier of sin? Down. He has removed the curtain. –All because of God’s love for us.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)  –All because of Jesus! 

Don’t put the curtain back up. Though there is no curtain in a temple, there is a curtain in the heart. We are not perfect.  We make mistakes.  And often, we allow those mistakes to keep us from God. Our guilty conscience becomes a curtain that separates us from God.  As a result, we hide behind a self-made curtain from our Lord.  You might wonder if you could ever feel close to God again. The message of the torn flesh is you can. God welcomes you. God is not avoiding you. God is not resisting you. The curtain is down, the door is open, and God invites you in.  Don’t trust your conscience. Trust the cross. God welcomes us with open arms.  There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a family member come home.

Jesus’ work on the cross to pay for our sins as well as His teaching about who God is portrays more beauty than we can think, dream, or imagine!  “How Beautiful”, sung by Twila Paris comes to my mind…

How beautiful the hands that served
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty roads and the hill to the cross
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

How beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sin and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That choose to forgive and never despise
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

And as he lay down his life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as he died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price

How beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her groom with his light in her eyes
How beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the King
How beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the Earth
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

Songwriters: Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson / Ann Dustin Wilson; Sung by Twila Paris, 1990

What is beautiful to God is our loving obedience to Him who loved us first and loves us most and best above all.


All I have is a humbled thank you this morning.  I am overwhelmed by your love and beauty.

In Jesus Name, for Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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