Today’s reading: II Chronicles 1-3; John 12:1-19
Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. II Chronicles 3:1
17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. John 12:17-18
Mount Moriah is significant in biblical history. We hear about it first when Abraham went to that location to offer his son, Isaac, in response to God’s command (Genesis 22:2). A thousand years later, David buys property from a Jebusite named Araunah or Ornan (his name is recorded both ways) in order to make an offering there to avert the plague, he had brought upon the nation by taking a census. In today’s reading, we learn that the location of that property is none other than Mt. Moriah. It becomes the location of the temple which Solomon built.
Long before Jesus’ time, the first temple (Solomon’s) had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in the Babylonian invasion and rebuilt. The second temple is the one which is mentioned in the gospels and which Jesus cleansed (John 2:13-17), but it was in the same location, Mt. Moriah. That temple was also destroyed by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD.
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He rode into Jerusalem and was proclaimed King of Israel by the crowds. John points out that it was because of the resurrection of Lazarus that the crowds came to see and hail Jesus. All this is occurring in the vicinity of Mt. Moriah and the second temple, soon to be destroyed.
Mt. Moriah had significance because the events that occurred there showed the need for an offering for sin to satisfy the just wrath of God. Abraham learned that God would provide His own sacrifice for sin. David learned that the punishment for his sin demanded an offering. Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate offering. He referred to it when He cleansed the temple of money changers and sellers of sheep, oxen, and pigeons. “Destroy this temple,” He told the Jews, “and in three days, I will raise it up.” (John 2:19). He was, of course, referring to His body, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. (John 2:18-22)
Don’t miss the importance of the lessons taught on Mt. Moriah.