All of it is gone. The Ark of the Covenant is lost. The line of priests is broken. The Veil in the Temple is ripped in two. The Temple has been destroyed. (Well, OK, we all know the Ark is stored in a government facility with all the other cool stuff Indiana Jones has found during his extraordinary career.) Seriously think about these facts from a theological perspective. Every marker of the Old Covenant is either lost or destroyed. I just recently came to the realization that God intended it as such.
Honestly, I got here tonight after our youth Bible study. I typically teach through books of the Bible. For the last year and a half I’ve been working through the book of Hebrews. I finished up chapter six tonight, which was leading into chapter seven which is all about Jesus being in the priestly order of Melchizedek, which is greater than the priestly order of the sons of Aaron (the line of High Priests from the tribe of the Levites). The Book of Hebrews is all about this; Jesus and the New Covenant established by his blood, is superior in every way to the Old Covenant.
This is what Easter is; the end of the Old Covenant and the triumph of the New Covenant.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12 ESV)
Jesus has done it, it is finished. The more I think about it the more I start to see a deeper meaning behind John 2:18-19, “So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (ESV, emphasis added). Now, we mostly interpret this as his body, and rightly so, but I see more. I think that Jesus meant “I am going to destroy this old, useless temple, and establish an eternal, better temple that can truly save sinners.” And that’s exactly what he did.
When Jesus died on the Cross, at that moment there was an earthquake that ripped the veil in the Holy of Holies. This effectively desecrated the Temple and “destroyed” it’s purpose. With the tearing of the veil all that was symbolized and meant by the Temple and its chambers was rendered useless. That’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing because Jesus was doing something greater, “securing an eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12b). The Old Covenant and its Temple were destroyed the moment Jesus Christ became the ultimate atoning sacrifice by his death. The New Covenant and it’s Perfect Temple, The Body of the risen Lord Jesus, was established three day’s later on Resurrection Sunday.
Christ is risen, he is victorious over sin and death, we have forgiveness through his blood.
Joy to the world! Our Lord has come! The Temple has been destroyed by the power of Jesus!