But He was speaking of the temple of His body.John 2:21(NASB)
The prophets of old foretold of Christ's death and resurrection and Jesus Himself also predicts in a number of places that He would die and rise-again from the dead. And here.. at the very beginning of His earthly ministry, the Lord prophesies of His own death and resurrection: destroy this Temple, He challenged angrily, as He accused the Pharisees of making His Father's house into a den on thieves.. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.
For thousands of years and by the mouth of many prophets.. the coming of the Messiah had been foretold and yet this generation of short-sighted, hypocritical extortioners blocked their ears to the truth, and mocked their own Saviour by saying sarcastically; It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?'
What foolish people were these religious leaders, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken. The Lord Jesus was not talking about the temple that had been made with man's hands - for heaven is God's throne, and the earth is His footstool, and God is not confined by man's limited imagination.
The Lord was speaking of the Temple of His own body. Jesus was the eternal Son of God, Who had come to earth as a man - the perfect, sinless Son of Man - and He was clothed in a body of human flesh.
Jesus had come to offer His life as a purchase price for the sin of the whole world - to give His life willingly as a ransom for many. You may destroy My body - the temple that houses My human soul and My eternal Spirit. You may falsely accuse Me and nail My Body to a cruel Roman cross.. You may destroy this earthly body.. but as the eternal Son of God in Whom is life - I will rise from the dead.
Christ's life and His death had a purpose.. to redeem the human race from sin, death and eternal separation from our heavenly Father. But in three days I will rise from the dead.. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again He announced, but the Jews were so focused on earthly things that they were unaware that He was speaking of the temple of His body.
May we take our eyes off the things of this world and set our minds on things above and not on things below - for we have died together with Him and our life is hid with Christ in God - our eternal Creator and glorious Saviour.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your eternal Son to become a Man so that His human body could die for the sin of the whole world and His life become our life - through time and into eternity - Praise His holy name, AMEN.