For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'
Israel’s sages teach this analogy about ancient Jerusalem: A king bought his first-born son, the heir of the kingdom, an expensive suit of clothing. The son, unconscious of the worth of the suit was unfaithful with it and very quickly the expensive garment became so soiled and torn that it was not fit to wear. The king decided then to have another beautiful suit made for his son, but again the son showed himself careless and unfaithful. The king then decided, ‘I will buy my son another suit, the most beautiful anyone has ever worn, but I will give it to him only after he has matured and learned faithfulness.
Leviticus twenty-six tells us the woes God puts on His children for disobedience. The first one tells of sickness, military and agricultural failure, the second speaks of the Temple. God says, “And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power, … (Leviticus 26:18-19). The prophet Ezekiel used that theme just before the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, the first Temple and said, “Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and … (Ezekiel 24:21). Because of sin in the land, the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonian King: Nebuchadnezzar.
Israel’s history tells us that another Temple was built after the Babylonian exile. It was not as beautiful and glorious as the first one but in an effort to win the favor of the Jewish people King Herod, the one who tried to have the Master killed when He was a baby, transformed that second temple into one of the marvels of the ancient world. As beautiful as it was, that Temple was also destroyed, this time by Titus, a Roman General. On Titus’ victory arch, you can see engravings of enslaved Jews bringing their riches to Rome. You can even see someone carrying the Temple menorah. What an ironic monument now that Israel had resurrected from the ashes of the Roman extermination.
As the old story about the King and his firstborn son: the Father has a beautiful third ‘garment’ in store for Israel (Exodus 4:22). It will be the most glorious of all and it will be given to him when he has matured and learned to say again, ‘Baruch habah b’shem Adonai: Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of Adonai’ (Matthew 23:29).
May it come soon, Abba, even in our days!