Sometime in Nov or Dec of 1956, depending on who has the final word on this, the phrase was uttered into a microphone, “Elvis has left the building” signifying the show is over and there is nothing else to be seen here. From that point on, the phrase …….”left the building!” has been a cultural saying signifying whatever the situation, it is over, nothing more to see.
But the most important “leaving the building” really took place over 2000 years ago when Jesus surrendered His life on the cross as a sacrifice for both your sin and my sin and created a pathway for us to become righteous before God. The Bible records this world changing event in Mark 15:38 And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (NLT) signifying that not only could we have access to the throne room of God but more importantly God changed His address, leaving the temple and moving into the hearts of mankind. No longer was the sanctuary a place to go and meet God, He now dwells in each one who has surrender their life to Him. No more was there a temple that people would need to run to for His presence as Paul said it this way in 1 Cor 3:16-17 You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? (Message) Again Paul writes in Acts 17:24-25 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples,… (NLT)
I think we need to be cautious of descriptive terms like sanctuary and House of the Lord lest we communicate to people that God is somewhere in a building and we come to meet with Him once or twice a week vs. we are the temple of God and His sanctuary and the only reason that auditorium is a sanctuary is because we are there. He is in the building because we brought Him. He left the building so many years ago so that He might live in us and no longer be limited by bricks and mortar. You are a House of Worship! Live it! And by all means, come together to celebrate all that He has done and is doing in each of your hearts, giving praise to Him! He left the building to live in you and that is worth celebrating!