What does it mean to sanctify? Were the Temple and the Altar a foreshadowing of Christ?
Matthew 23:17 - 19
NASB - 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 "And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.'
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The temple and its features (such as the altar) were dedicated to the service of God. They were "holy" in that they had been set apart for that specific purpose. God Himself had indicated this by visibly filling the original temple that Solomon built (not the one existing in Jesus' time) with His presence at the time of that temple's dedication (1 Kings 8:10-11). The gifts that people brought to the temple were material objects that were not holy of themselves. It was the dedication of those gifts for the Lord's use that set them apart, or sanctified them, making them holy. However, the Pharisees and scribes by their teaching placed a greater significance upon the value of the gifts themselves than upon the purpose for which the gifts had been given, and, by extension, than upon God Himself. As the question indicates, the building of the temple by Solomon (whose name meant "bringer of peace") was a foreshadowing of Christ (to which Jesus Himself referred when asked for a sign of His authority in John 2:19) and of Christians, who would become His body on earth following His ascension, and to whom Paul referred as individual temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
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