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Destroy This Temple, and in Three Days I Will Raise It Up

24 March • Sunday of the Passion (Palm Sunday)


John 2:13-22

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money- changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”


18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore 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.


Meditation

 

The scene during the Passover feast involved thousands of people coming to the temple. In the temple Jesus found many selling oxen, sheep and pigeons. For those who travelled miles to the temple, this brought much convenience to them for a sacrifice readily available at the temple. This service could be interpreted as loving and holy, for they helped others to offer a sacrifice to God.


But Jesus saw through their hearts! He saw such transactions birthing from greed, selfish motives, and personal gains, above the worship of God! Jesus was furious to have seen a holy act of worship reduced to mere business transactions. It was rare to see Jesus getting so angry, but this anger was birthed from a love, reverence, and even hurt to see how the people of God had turned from Him.

“...this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me,” (Isaiah 29:13)


The holy act of sacrifice to God had reduced to mere human moneymaking opportunity. The worshippers’ hearts no longer give God the due honour and worship that He deserves. Their hearts are crowded with the love of money and greed.

Similarly, as we search our hearts today—are there areas in our lives that have been crowded by other things than the love of God? Perhaps it’s the career ambition that subtly consumes our love for God, or the material things that we seek for security and comfort.


The good news is Jesus said that “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (v.20). Jesus is the new temple. We can come to God through Him! As we remember Jesus on Palm Sunday, let’s make a daily choice to surrender and consecrate our hearts to Him. Let Him cleanse the temple of our hearts, that we may devote our entire love solely to Jesus. Although we no longer need to walk the distance to the temple to worship God, we must still journey within our hearts to walk with Christ, worship Christ and serve Christ.


Prayer

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word that You are God who looks into our hearts. We thank You that because of Jesus, we may come to You through Him. We repent from the times we have allowed worldly pursuits and material possessions to overshadow our relationship with You. Please forgive us and just as how Jesus cleansed the temple, come and cleanse our hearts, Lord. Help us to make a daily choice to put You above all else.

In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Action

 

Take a moment to reflect on our lives and surrender to the Lord whatever may be hindering our relationship with God. It could be material possessions, worldly distractions, lack of hunger, or habitual sins.


Rev Tony Yeo

Chairman, Evangelical Free Church of Singapore

Senior Pastor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church

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