What If Our Heart of Stone Was Actually a Heart of Stone?
Once a person comes to realize that every single word of the Torah is prophetic, they also become aware that it is impossible for anyone to understand the writings of the New Testament without having an understanding of the writings of Moses.
One example of how important it is to view the New Testament writings through the lens of the Torah is found in the book of Ephesians, chapter 2:17-22:
17 And He came and proclaimed shalom to you who were far away and shalom to those who were near— 18 for through Him we both have access to the Father by the same Ruach. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. 20 You have been built on the foundation made up of the emissaries and prophets, with Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone. 21 In Him the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple for the Lord. 22 In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach.
Those verses are absolutely impossible to understand without first reading the book of Leviticus, chapter 24:
16 Whoever blasphemes the Name of Adonai must surely be put to death. The whole congregation must stone him. The outsider as well as the native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, is to be put to death.
Now, at first glance, these two sections of text may not appear to be connected; however, when you look a little deeper, they are prophetically connected in a powerful way. First, let’s establish the context of the book of Ephesians, which was written less than ten years before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Why was the Temple destroyed? We are taught by our sages that it was destroyed because of baseless hatred. Baseless hatred, according to the Bible, is failure to love G-D and love one's neighbor as themselves. Another way to say it is that G-D’s people were blaspheming the name of G-D. Blasphemy against the name of G-D is when we, by our actions, cause people to see G-D in a way that distorts who He is. Blasphemy against the name of G-D can only be accomplished by someone who has truly known G-D through covenant relationship with him.
According to Leviticus 24, one who is found guilty of blasphemy against G-D’s name is to be put to death by stoning. I know that at this point you may not yet see the prophetic connection between Leviticus 24 and Ephesians 2, but please keep reading because I believe, shortly, you will.
If it is true that the Temple was destroyed because Israel had blasphemed the name of G-D through baseless hatred, and if it is true that Israel is viewed by Scripture as the Bride of G-D, and if the Temple was the symbol of Israel, then it make sense that the Temple was destroyed, or put to death, by stoning. The Romans used large stones to knock down the Temple walls, until not one stone was standing upon another.
Because the Temple was viewed as the heart of the Jewish people in a very real way, Israel and the Romans looked at the destruction of the Temple as the death of Israel. The destruction of the Temple also had a demoralizing effect on the Jewish people, as it was the standing symbol of their special relationship with G-D.
This is why Paul writes the powerful words to the believers in Ephesus, as well as the words we read written by Isaiah and Matthew about the Chief Cornerstone, so that the believers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, would realize that Yeshua paid the penalty for Israel’s blasphemy, as we read in Ephesians 2:
14 For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility— 15 the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom, 16 and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death.
Yeshua’s death restored the unity of the outsider (non-Jews) and the native born (Jews), breaking down the wall which kept the two apart, and through the cross, He made powerless the law code, or handwriting of the ordinance against us, bringing shalom and reconciling us both to G-D.
It’s important to notice that nearly ten years before the Temple was destroyed and the wall of separation between Jew and non-Jews was broken down (a wall based completely on baseless hatred and division), a new Temple was already built, made up of living stones, both Jewish and non-Jewish, built upon the emissaries and the prophets, with Yeshua being the Chief Cornerstone.
So, while the Temple, made of stone, was destroyed, the Temple of flesh was not. This should make us think about the words of Ezekiel 11:17-20:
17 Therefore say, thus says Adonai Elohim, “I will gather you from the peoples and collect you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 18 When they come there, they will remove all of its detestable things and all of its abominations. 19 Then I will give them one heart. I will put a new Spirit within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 so that they may follow My laws, keep My ordinances and practice them. They will be My people and I will be their God.
Maybe the heart of stone is a reference to the Temple of stone, and the heart of flesh is referring to the New Temple, made of believers both Jewish and non-Jewish, with Yeshua as our Cornerstone.