“Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’ ” Mark 13:1-2
A number of years ago I, together with two pastor friends, had the opportunity to spend a few days site seeing in Rome, Italy. There are scores of possible places for a tourist to go and it would take weeks to take them all in; so we had to be selective in our choices. One of the places we chose to go to was the Roman Pantheon.
This is a marvelous old building, constructed between 111 and 128 AD. There are many things I could comment on regarding the architecture and artistry of the building but the the thing I found most interesting was that this is the oldest building still standing and in active use in the city of Rome. This longevity can be attributed to the fact that in 609 AD, the Byzantine emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV, who converted it into a Christian church. Because it was a church in active use it was preserved rather than being abandoned and allowed to fall into ruin.
Throughout the world there are very few structures, still standing intact, as old as the pantheon and even fewer that are older. Many men have sought to leave their mark on the world through the monuments they’ve built but generally their actions and investments have been efforts of futility.
Jesus’ prophecy regarding the destruction of Herod’s temple was fulfilled just thirty years after he made the pronouncement. Many of those that heard him say the words were still living. How they must have marveled at the totality of their fulfillment.
The secret of the Pantheon’s longevity was its conversion from a pagan temple to a church for the worship of Christ. The scriptures tell is that one day everyone and everything on this earth will be cast down. Only those whose hearts have been converted to worship and serve Jesus and only Jesus will remain. Christ promises he will accept everyone that comes to him. He will heal us, he will restore us, he will sustain us for eternity.