““All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and You can rebuild in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple” He meant His own body.”
After Jesus rose from the dead the disciples remembered His words from today’s passage. They too may have, at the time Jesus spoke these words, thought Jesus was mad for making such a bold declaration about destroying the temple and building it again. Of course they had witnessed some of Jesus’ miracles already, so no doubt they knew His power. But to destroy the temple that took so long to build and re-build it in three days? Surely that was a bit much right?! Yet three days after Jesus’ death, in His resurrection, they put the puzzle pieces together and realised that Jesus was not talking about a physical building, but of His own body.
This truth’s implication becomes personal for us, when we too realise that we are the temples and vessels of the Holy Spirit, of God Himself. We host the very presence of Jesus, the One who was raised and ‘re-built’ after three days. He lives in us. We are a temple for His presence. Isn’t that such a huge privilege and honour? Paul encourages the church in Corinth to remember this fact by saying ‘don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.’
Jesus knew that His own physical body was a holy vessel for the presence of God and we too share in that same privilege. We no longer are bound by four walls, but rather carry the presence of God with us wherever we go! May we honour God with our bodies and be fully aware of the divine privilege and responsibility of being temple of God, now and always.