“Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
A belief that is very common today is that if you live a good life, God will welcome you into heaven. Along with that, many people think of Jesus as little more than a meek, mild, caring, good teacher. While Jesus was and is all of those things, he is much more. In fact, because he is God, there is much more to him than we can imagine. (See Ephesians 3:20.)
In our reading for today we see a side of Jesus that many of us might find surprising. He violently attacks what is going on in the temple. He enters the heart of worship and cleans house. The Jewish leaders ask, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus draws their attention to the cross when he answers, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews think he is crazy: “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” John adds, “But the temple he had spoken of was his body.”
John includes this statement to point out that this is about Jesus’ death and resurrection. For God and humans to connect, a cleansing has to happen. Jesus models that in the temple in Jerusalem, and this is a graphic picture of what the Spirit of God does to us as Jesus comes to live in the temple of our lives—body and soul. Are you prepared to be cleaned out?
Lord Jesus, come in and cleanse the temple of my life. My “good life” is not enough to make me right with God, but yours is. Only by your shed blood can I be made clean and whole. Amen.
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