Every single detail concerning the temple compound in Ezekiel has a spiritual meaning. God’s word is truly amazing; who but God could have written such a document? In our Bible study, we would like to see what these steps, especially their number, mean for us today.
“Its windows and those of its archways, and also its palm trees, had the same measurements as the gateway facing east; it was ascended by seven steps, and its archway was in front of it.”Ezekiel 40:22
The seven steps in front of the outer gateway: the complete redemptive work of Jesus Christ
In front of each of the three outermost gates of the temple, which provide an entrance to the outer court, are seven steps. In the Bible, the number seven signifies completion or perfection. For example, God completed His creation in seven days. In order to come forward to God, we need Jesus Christ. There is no other way to approach God (John 14:6). The gates are a picture of Jesus (John 10:7): we cannot enter the inner court of the temple without passing through these three gates. The seven steps show the complete redemptive work accomplished by Jesus.
Through this salvation, man gains access to God. For a person to be saved from the power of sin and to receive God’s eternal life, they must believe in their heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He can forgive their sins (see Romans 10:10). We are saved through faith alone, not through our own works (Galatians 2:16). We cannot add anything to this salvation; it is already a perfect work, accomplished by Jesus Christ.
The eight steps in front of the inner gateway: the new life of Jesus through His resurrection
Although we may be Christians, we still do not yet live fully according to God’s will. So the way into the innermost place, which in Ezekiel is referred to as the sanctuary, goes still further. If you have made it to the outer court, there are still eight steps for you to climb in order to reach the inner court. Romans 6:4 gives the spiritual significance of these eight steps:
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”Romans 6:4
Jesus resurrected on the first day of the week. This day is also the eighth day since it follows the seventh or last day of the week. Through the death of our old man and by being raised with Christ, we have a new life in which we should be living. This life is described in Romans 6:11:
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord”!Romans 6:11
If we live in this new life through the spirit, then we have access to the inner court.
The ten steps in the sanctuary
The way into the sanctuary goes even further, showing how separate or set apart God is from everything that is natural. He is holy, and in order to come forward to Him, we must sanctify ourselves.
These steps are needed in order to reach the sanctuary from the inner court. Among other things, the number ten stands for God’s righteousness and for our responsibility before God. For example, there are ten commandments. Romans 8 describes God’s righteousness, starting from verse 3:
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”Romans 8:3f
God wants the righteous requirement of the law to be fulfilled in us. He did not do away with the law! Rather, He gave us Jesus Christ, who is able to fulfill the law in us so that we can live a life that is well-pleasing to God. Praise the Lord for such wisdom. Let us all take this way to the Father through Jesus Christ!