The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
The temple held tremendous significance in Jewish culture and worship. It was God's dwelling place among his people. They would have been shocked when Jesus told them to destroy it and even more shocked when he told them he would raise it in three days. Their response showed their incredulity. "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?"
Jesus wasn't talking about the physical temple, which was sometimes referred to as Herod's Temple. He was talking about himself. He was referring to his own body as the temple that would be destroyed through his crucifixion and then raised from the dead after three days. It would be the pivotal event defining his ministry and validating his claims as the Son of God.
Additionally, by equating himself with the temple, Jesus claimed to be the ultimate point of true worship. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus would establish a new way of approaching God, where true worship happened in the realm of the spirit and truth. Worship would not be confined to a physical location or ritualistic practices but would be rooted in genuine devotion and truth.
This passage holds significant relevance for our lives as believers today. Firstly, it challenges us to reexamine our approach to worship and spirituality. Is our primary connection with God confined to physical structures or external rituals? Or is our worship centered on a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus himself?
Secondly, Jesus' resurrection is a powerful reminder of the hope and victory we have in him. His triumph over death assures us that we can experience the newness of life and the promise of eternal life through faith in him.
Thirdly, it challenges us to surrender our lives to him fully. As the one who conquered sin and death, Jesus deserves our complete allegiance and trust. We are called to submit to his lordship and allow him to transform us from the inside out.
Lastly, the passage invites us to deepen our understanding of Jesus' teachings and to grow in our faith. Just as the religious leaders misunderstood Jesus' statement about the temple, we, too, can fall into the trap of misinterpreting or underestimating the profound truths of God's Word.
Lots to ponder upon today. God bless you.