This proclamation by Jesus was so profound to the people around Jesus at the time in so many ways, that the ramifications of it can still be felt today!
We didn’t see then or now?
If we can just go back to the scene of the ‘words’ of Christ and take them one at a time to understand them. This is again, a testament to the reading ways of the literal readings of black and white. We have to go deeper into the words and the meanings and most importantly, context.
John 2:19–21 (NASB95)
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
To stay in context with these verses we have to also look at how we got here. The Jews(ones within the Jewish hierarchy) were in discussion with Jesus in the moment of Him destroying the temple business’s that were in the temple yard. The question that was asked of Jesus “on who’s authority are you doing this?” This seems to be a straight forward question for anyone,right? But Jesus comes back with lightning bolt of an answer of “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up!” Wow. They weren’t expecting that!
So Jesus tells the ‘Jews’ to destroy this temple(Jersusalem) and I will raise it up in three days!. Jesus will put it all back together after the jews destroy it(which no doubt would take them years to do it you think about it,in the physical sense), but was He talking about the physical sense in the first part of the sentence? I believe that He was, because this is what only the Jews knew and expected of God, the reality of the things in front of them. It was a majestic site to be seen, the Temple of Jerusalem, The Temple of the one and only God.
But it was proclaimed by Jesus, to tear it down! Why, would they do it? It was because it was being marred by unholiness in the ways of His people. It was dirty. It was Unholy by the people and by their institutional ways. This had to be changed. It had to be Holy.
Jesus was Holy. Jesus had authority to change it. He ‘was’ the Temple. He was greater than the temple. The Temple was in Him, of Him. Anything that was associated with Him pointed to the Temple!
The temple of Jerusalem was to die, in less than 40 years later, to prove His point. But the exclaimation that really made the point was when Jesus hung on the cross of death, and three days later rose to the world’s morning sun, to proclaim that something better than the temple of Jerusalem was now in use. Jesus Christ! Christ is something new and better than the Temple of the old covenant.
Everyone, Everyone in Christ is now the Temple of God. We are all one. Colossians 3. 11 Proclaims that ‘All in Christ are Everything’. The Temple of the ‘old ways is under the old covenant, the new one is in ‘Christ the Messiah’.
Let us ‘see’ this in the scriptures as we delved into the scriptures of just not the words, but the meaning of them. Let us not continue the traditions of old, but let us just ‘SEE’ Jesus!