A Resurrected Temple
“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
John 2:19 (NLT)
In the time of Jesus the Temple at Jerusalem dominated the life of the Jewish people. It was an enormous building and a place of continual pilgrimage for people who lived in other parts of the Mediterranean. This was the Holy Sanctuary, the place where the people met with God, where sacrifices were made and Holy Days observed. But more than that; this was the place that stood for the presence of the Holy God amongst his people, the people of the covenant.
Notice once again what Jesus told the people in the scripture above, in the aftermath of cleansing the temple and in answer to the question, “What right do you have to do these things?” The Jewish leaders demanded. “If you have this authority from God, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” And the sign he gave was, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up!” (John 2:18-19 NLT).
What temple was he referring to? John informs us that by “this temple” Jesus meant his body and that after he was raised from the dead, the disciples remembered that he had said this. And they believed both Jesus and the scriptures (Verses 21-22). In Jesus the earthly temple became redundant and was replaced by his body as a sign that God was in the midst of his people.
But there’s more than this concerning the temple—as members of the body of Christ we also become part of the temple of God. Collectively we are God’s Temple: “For God’s temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:17). And as such we represent the presence of God in the world because his Spirit dwells within us.
What an amazing responsibility, what an awesome commission we have, let’s just notice a part of this responsibility: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). So, no pressure then! Thankfully, the pressure gets cancelled out because God supplies the wherewithal; as Paul remarked, “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need” (Philippians 4:13).
Praise to you Father, and thanks that we are not limited to our own resources during this journey but have the indwelling power of your Son.
Study by Cliff Neill
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Local Congregational Contact: