The body of Jesus = the Temple?
Reading: John 2:13-25
Blanks: Passover, temple, temple, raise, knew
(1) Do you know what Passover is?
It is one of Jewish holidays.
In Hebrew it is called, Pesach.
Do you remember how the Passover came about?
It happened in Egypt about 5300 years ago.
God asked the Jewish people to apply the blood of lamb on the doorpost and then eat that lamb that night.
When the blood of lamb was on their doorpost, they were saved, because the angel of death would pass over them.
According to the book of Exodus, this was the last sign.
After this, the King of Egypt freed let the Jewish people go.
Then the Jewish people were freed from slavery.
Since then, they celebrated the Passover every year.
Why did God ask them to use the blood of the lamb?
It was because God was thinking about Jesus.
Like the lamb, Jesus was to shed his blood to save all people from their sins at the end of his public ministry.
Jesus was to shed his blood to protect them from their death.
(3) During the Passover, God also asked them to eat Matzo.
It is not soft. (show)
But during the Passover, God asked them to use only this bread.
Again God was thinking about the suffering of Jesus.
God knew Jesus would be beaten badly in order to save them from their sins.
This Matzo reminded God about the scratched body of Jesus.
(1) Anyway, about 1500 years later, in the time of Jesus, many Jewish people still celebrated the Passover.
Many went to Jerusalem and offer a sacrifice to God in the Temple.
Jesus also went to Jerusalem and entered into the temple court.
This temple court was originally the place of prayer.
The foreigners were supposed to pray here.
But it’s very difficult to pray during the Passover, because at that time, people sold cattle, sheep and doves here.
The temple authority asked them to buy these animals to make an offering to God.
But the price was very high.
Also in order to buy these animals, people needed to have the temple money that was used only in the temple.
The temple had its own coins that had no engraved images on them:
So, people exchanged their money to buy the animals.
Then they offered it to God.
But the money changers were increasing their service charge.
So, it was getting expensive to offer a sacrifice to God.
(1) All these money making activities agitated Jesus.
Then Jesus decided to drive all the sheep and cattle out of the temple court.
He scattered the coins of the money changers.
He overturned their tables.
To those who sold doves he said:
“Get out of here!
Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
(1) Then the people responded:
“What sign can you show us to prove that you have the authority to do this?”
Jesus answered: (slowly)
“Destroy this temple.
I will raise it again in three days.”
It took forty-six years to build this temple.
And you are going to raise it in three days?”
(3) What was Jesus saying when he said, “Destroy this temple”?
Jesus was saying:
“Destroy my body.
I will raise it again in three days.”
But why did Jesus suddenly talk about his body when they were talking about the temple?
What was Jesus saying?
Well, Jesus understood that God gave this temple to explain the ministry of Jesus.
In the Bible, through this temple, God was explaining what Jesus would do for them, when he came so that when Jesus came, they understand Jesus better.
(1) In order to understand, let’s think about why this temple was needed in the first place.
The temple was needed because people need to pray and think about God.
In the temple, people prayed.
In the temple, people offered a sacrifice to God.
In the temple, people received the assurance of forgiveness of their sins.
Now all these can be done through Jesus Christ.
We can pray in Jesus’ name.
We can come to God in the name of Jesus.
Jesus was offered to God, as the sacrifice, for the forgiveness of our sins, once for all.
We receive the perfect forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
And we say that Jesus is better than the temple.
(2) Now let’s look at the inner sanctuary of the Temple.
There was supposed to be the Ark of the Covenant.
(3) In the Ark of Covenant, there were Aaron's rod, a jar of manna and Ten Commandments.
These were there to explain Jesus, as well.
(3) For example, what is manna?
(3) Manna is the miraculous food that God provided in the wilderness when they were moving from Egypt to the land of Israel.
God gave manna so that they could eat and live in the desert.
God asked them to put this manna into the temple, because it could explain about Jesus.
(1) Jesus is the true and spiritual food that we need to eat for our soul.
Then when we understand Jesus, we live forever.
That is what Jesus does for us.
(1) Now you can see why Jesus spoke as if his body were the temple.
But he asked them to destroy his temple. his body so that Jesus could raise it back again from the dead.
Jesus wanted to show them the original idea behind this temple.
Then through Jesus the Christ, they could worship God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
God gave the Passover, the temple, manna and everything to explain about Jesus.
God wrote the Bible to explain Jesus.
God created the world to explain Jesus.
As for God Jesus is everything.
Jesus is always in the mind of God.
But God gave Jesus to us, because God loves us.
God sent Jesus to explain about God.
Through Jesus, God was trying to answer these questions:
What is God like?
Is God really good?
Will God love us forever?
How to live a life that God really likes?
What makes God really happy?
How to live a good life for God?
How can we live with God forever?
Jesus came to help people understand God so that they worship God.
So Jesus came to this temple.
Then he explained what this temple is for.
God is spirit.
God's words are spiritual.
God’s images are spiritual.
God’s creatures are spiritual.
So those who think spiritually understand God’s intention.
God, thank you for giving us Jesus.
Forgive us if we have ever used our church like a market.
Help us to understand Jesus and live with him forever.
In Jesus name, amen.