Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cut without Hands

In Mark 14, one of the accusations brought against Jesus is that he had promised to destroy "this temple made with hands" and within three days he would build another "made without hands."

This is an allusion to Daniel's prophecy regarding the stone in Daniel 2:34 which is cut out "without hands." But Daniel's stone is probably based upon a specific description regarding the building of the temple. In 1 Kgs 6:7, it is said while the temple was being constructed all the stones were finished at the quarry so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.

The stones of the Solomonic temple arrived pre-cut, finished according to the design. They were stones cut "without hands." This is why Jesus can allude to Daniel's prophecy and apply it directly to the temple and building a new temple. If Jesus is the stone cut out "without hands" this means that He has come to be the new cornerstone, pre-cut, already prepared for the new temple which will grow up into the mountain that will fill the whole earth.

Last, note that Paul uses similar language to describe the true circumcision that is "without hands" (Col. 2:11). Our "cutting" and shaping into stones for the this new temple is not found in circumcision. In the new temple, we are quarried and finished in the death of Jesus, and baptism applies His "cutting" to us. There is no sound of a hammer or chisel or any iron tool in the construction of this new temple. We are justified, and we arrive pre-cut through the Cornerstone who was cut "without hands."

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