I don’t know how many times I have read the passage which describes how Jesus cleansed the temple. However, at this occasion a new understanding suddenly manifested and hit me in the gut. It struck me that we are the living temples which He came to cleanse, and that this incident recorded in the gospels is merely another shadow of spiritual realities.
After Jesus’ display of rage the disciples were reminded of Psalm 69:9, “"Zeal for your house will consume me." Since we are God’s temples He is very jealous towards any other occupant who dwells in His Palace. Even before the foundation of the earth Jesus must have been looking forward to this day when He would make a statement regarding who was the true proprietor of the human spirit.
After the cross He with the same zeal and rage expelled the prince of the power of the air from his temples, so that He Himself could indwell His beloved ones, and thus grant them life and liberty. They were slaves of sin, and a slave can only exchange owners when a price is paid. He paid the price so man could become slave of righteousness. The cost was tremendous, and it is a powerful testimony of how far He is willing to go in order to satisfy His love. No one in the universe has the means to overbid His offer and ransom.
Man was created in His image, but the fall had rendered the pinnacle of God’s creation as a distorted version of its true image. A distorted image of the perfect image does not emanate any glory. We were enslaved to sin (Rom 6:6), and thus radiated darkness. Not much glory in darkness. So, since we are brought out of this darkness by the new master we can consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:11).