Monday, October 12, 2015

JEWELS From The GOSPEL Of JOHN: THREE DAYS IN RAISING - JOHN 2:18-22

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints

Previously we witnessed the LORD cleansing the Temple of the money changers and their corrupt practices of 'ripping off the people' in God's Name (a talent that today's televangelists have perfected with unparalleled success!). The LORD in perfect temperance, vented His righteous anger and chased away these profiteers.

The religious authorities then challenged the LORD Jesus on His actions:


JOHN 2:18-22

18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

As per usual the Jews asked for a sign. There were times when the LORD denied them any such signs (MATT. 12:39; 16:4) and rebuked them for seeking such. Not this time however. This time He tells them point blank the sign that He would show them:

"Destroy this temple and in three days," He said, "I will raise it  up." The Jewish authorities misunderstood, naturally, quite likely because they happened to be standing in the Jewish temple at the time of the LORD's declaration. We have the inspired direction of the Holy Spirit however to set us straight on what the LORD meant (vs. 21).

He was speaking of His own resurrection - certainly ample authority proven for anyone who could perform such a miracle! Interesting how the LORD stated that He would raise Himself up from the dead.

Then in ACTS 5:30 Peter declared that it was the Father that raised Christ up from the dead. And in ROMANS 8:11 it says that the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead. Here we have the Trinity in cooperation in raising the body of the LORD Jesus up from the dead, with resurrection power and in a glorified state. We can find similar cooperation in the Trinity's work in creation, the inspiration of Scripture, the work of salvation, the indwelling of the believer and other work besides. 

The LORD provided this evidence of authority on the very day of His resurrection; today this evidence is free for any and all to examine. While skeptics have come up with many explanations for this incredible event, other than the supernatural one, none of them adequately explains away the reality of the resurrection
It's a fascinating study to examine all the places in the Scripture where "three days" are mentioned; where you find these references in the Word, consider how many of them in context, are inferences of the coming Messiah's resurrection - on the third day (For starters, here is a hint of one such place in Scripture: HEB. 11:17-19 in comparison with GEN. 22:1-8, esp. vs, 4).

This supremely profound event has cleft time in half between "BC" and "AD" and will be a focal point of judgment against those who refused to believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ, just as Peter proved on the day of Pentecost (ACTS 2:22-36). Yet for all of the evidences presented, there would still be those Jews who would never express faith in the LORD though He did rise from the dead because they never expressed true faith in the canon of Scripture (written through Moses and the prophets) that they were in possession of (LUKE 16:31)!

It was a sad state of affairs that even the temple building (whose expansion enterprise under Herod's direction) which took forty-six years to complete, was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews have been without a temple ever since - though they will have one soon enough, but even this will be defiled by the coming anti-Christ (2 THESS. 2:4). 

It is because of the truth of the LORD's resurrection that the Spirit of God is enabled to indwell believers, who themselves become the temple of the Holy Spirit (JOHN 20:22; 1 COR. 6:19). 

EPHESIANS 2:19-21

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Everything in the Christian faith hinges upon the resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ. Had He not risen from the dead, we would still be in our sin! See 1 COR. 15:17. Christianity would have never survived its first week after the LORD was buried in the tomb, if He had made such a proclamation but never made good on it!

Yet such a bold declaration was answered by an equally bold demonstration of power - and because Christ is risen, we are forgiven of our sins; we are indwelt by the Spirit, we have the promise of eternal life and have no need to fear death any longer.

We likewise will receive glorified bodies just as our LORD did, and dwell in the glories of heaven forever and ever: never aging, never getting sick or weak, but endowed with power and glorious abilities!

1 COR 15:42-44

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

May we herald the RISEN CHRIST to this dying world as evidence that the Holy Bible is the truth, that the GOSPEL is valid, that eternal life is free for the taking - to any and all who will repent of their sin, believe in and turn to the LORD for salvation!

May we also, as the saints of the LORD possess our temple in purity and righteousness, obtainable only by the enabling Spirit of Grace!

MAY THE LORD BLESS AND KEEP YOU ALL! Next time we shall examine JOHN 2:23-25 - "A VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE".


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