Today's Reading: Ezekiel 46-48
I am constantly amazed how scripture interprets scripture, how images in one part of the Bible build upon other images in the Bible. As I read today's passage, I was amazed at the images of the temple, the living water and the healing, cleansing power.
The vision of the temple in Ezekiel shows a spring of living water coming from the altar of God which flows out of the temple, getting deeper and wider as it flows. Everywhere it flows, life springs forth, healing occurs, and in its rushing and depth there is a sense of danger and excitement!
The living water image took me to the gospel of John, where in chapter 4, Jesus claims to be the source of living water. I, like Ezekiel, followed this water stream through the next chapters of John.
As the river from John 4 grows deeper in chapter 5, Jesus begins healing, above and beyond the healing previously offered by the shepherd's pool.
In chapter 6, the water is so deep that it becomes dangerously choppy, with winds blowing and storms breaking. Jesus, the source, easily walks on top of all the chaos, and then teaches his disciples that they must drink deeply of his life giving blood. Who can bear that, unless they remember that water and blood both carry the image of life. Remember? Jesus claims to be the temple, and on Calvary, the altar of sacrifice for us, a stream of blood and water flowed, symbolizing his life blood.
Then in chapter 7, hidden deep in the text is Jesus speaking on the very day during the Feast of Tabernacles when the priests pour water on the altar! The eighth day of the feast, (the number eight being the number which is for baptism and new creation), Jesus states: Out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living water!
Now we are the temple and our lives lived sacrificially for Christ pour out life to those around us; we become the ambassadors and vessel of this living water---The Holy Spirit---by which people come to life and receive wholeness.
We then are flown to Revelation where out of the new Jerusalem, the throne of God comes again this living water, which flows "through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life (remember Psalm 1?) with its 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations!!!!" Note that the throne is the throne of God and of the LAMB---the sacrifice--whose life was given, whose blood was shed, to restore life to all who trust in the LORD.
I tell you, I just get so excited, I want to dive into the deep and wide living waters of the Holy Spirit and live abundantly, bearing fruit and leaves!