John 2: 13-22
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
This passage begins with Jesus’ anger against the business the church had become. In His anger, His throwing over the tables, He could see two thousand years ahead when we would do something very similar. Their tables of moneychangers for sacrificial scapegoats have become tables with sign-up sheets for dinners and other projects we help with - sometimes only because we think we can earn amnesty for our sins.
Jesus is passionate about the real purpose of His Father’s house and obviously doesn’t approve. As He shoos everyone out, the Jews ask for proof that He is who He says He is. Unlike many other times when asked for a sign, Jesus offers to let them destroy their temple and He will rebuild it. For the devout Jews, that’s like asking to kill their child so they can believe in Jesus when He brings them back to life, but instead of risking finding the long awaited Savior, they just scoff because they don’t believe He can.
But not long after, His body is destroyed instead of the temple. For three days, His disciples probably felt like He had failed, but He was busy erasing the sins of billions of people. He was concentrating on each moment of sin and shame you felt, taking it upon Himself. He was giving Himself up, His perfect self that didn’t need to be remade, and washing you clean. At the end of it all, He looked evil in the face and came back to show us that we were free. And we believed.
Lord, Your power is astounding and Your love is equal to none. Thank You for all that You overcame for us and for this time to reflect on our relationship and grow in our faith.