For One Temple to Rise Another One Must Be Destroyed

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by John Mark. More specifically today’s passage begins with the fifty-third verse of the fourteenth chapter and continues through to the fifteenth verse of the fifteenth chapter. “And the led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. And Peter followed him afar off, even into the place of the high priest: and he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare face witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We hard him, say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But neither so did their witness agree together. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But he helped his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: What think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands” (Mark 14:53-65). “And as Peter was beneath in the place, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: and when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. And a made saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: For thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agree that thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crew twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought therein, he wept” (Mark 14:66-72). “And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jew? And he answered said unto him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; to that Pilate marveled” (Mark 15:1-5). “Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder and insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified” (Mark 15:6-15). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find Jesus having been betrayed in the garden by one of His own disciples. In the previous passage you will find the Lord Jesus being together in the garden together with His disciples instructing eight of them to remain and tarry while He Himself took Peter, James and John a little further into the garden with Him. It would be there in that place in the midst of the garden Jesus would instruct these three disciples to watch and pray while He Himself went a little further and would pray before His Father in heaven. What Scripture presents us with in the various gospel narratives is the Lord Jesus returning unto the disciples after praying before and unto His Father who was in heaven and finding them sleeping. Upon seeing them sleeping the Lord Jesus would speak directly unto Peter and ask them if they could not watch and pray with Him for one hour. This would immediately be followed by Jesus declaring unto them how the spirit is truly willing but the flesh is weak. After speaking these words the Lord Jesus would return to the place where He was before that He might continue to pray before His Father which was in heaven as He prepared Himself for that which He knew was before Him. Jesus had spent a considerable amount of time teaching the disciples concerning those things which He must needs suffer at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people of Israel. Time and time again the Lord Jesus would teach His disciples how He must needs suffer many things at the hands of the chief priests, scribes and elders of Israel before He would indeed be delivered into the hands of sinners who would scourge Him before ultimately putting Him to death. Now here in the garden we find Jesus praying before and unto the Father—not necessarily desiring the cup to pass from Him but rather recognizing the struggle and conflict that was present within the flesh He had taken upon Himself. As you continue reading the four gospel narratives you will find that it was there in the garden where Judas—one of the twelve—would enter leading an insurrection of soldiers armed with swords and staves. Judas was indeed lead these soldiers and guards into the garden and gave them a very specific sign to know and understand who it was they should seize and lay hold of. Upon coming unto the Lord Jesus—not only would Judas address Him as Rabboni which means Master but he would also kiss Him on the cheek. It would be this sign that would alert the soldiers and guards which were with him that this was the one whom they were to seize and lay hold of. What would ensue next is something which is actually quite interesting and what you would not expect for Scripture describes how one of those disciples who was together with the Lord Jesus would draw the sword from its sheath and would strike off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest. It would be there in the midst of the garden the Lord Jesus would recognize and understand what was taking place and would instruct this disciple to put the sword in it’s sheath. What makes the words which the Lord Jesus spoke all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that He would declare unto them that those who lived by the sword would die by the sword. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would also speak unto His disciple and ask them if they weren’t aware of the fact that He could presently ask His Father who was in heaven and He would dispatch twelve legions of angels to come to His aid and deliver Him from the hands of those who would seek to lay hold of Him. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with Jesus who not only caused the sword to be put away but also held the angels of heaven at bay without them coming to His rescue and aid. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about when considering the narrative of the garden of Gethsemane it’s how on this night—although Jesus would be betrayed by one of His own and although Jesus would struggle with His the weight and scope of that which He was called to do—Jesus would not only command the sword to be put away and be returned to the sheath but the Lord Jesus would also reveal that He could have asked the Father to send twelve legions of angels who would have most certainly delivered Him out of the hands of those who had come unto Him. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how there in the garden He would willingly and deliberately surrender Himself to those who had come unto Him seeking to seize and lay hold of Him. The Lord Jesus would indeed enter into the garden knowing what would come upon and befall Him on this particular night and not only would He command the sword to be put away but He would also remind His disciple(s) that He could have dispatched twelve legions of angels from heaven simply by asking the Father. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for on this particular night Jesus deliberately and intentionally held back the angels in heaven from coming to His aid and to His defense. The Lord Jesus would purposefully and intentionally allow Himself to be taken and seized by those soldiers and guards whom Judas had led into the garden as they would lead Him unto the place where the religious leaders were assembled together. Oh I have to admit there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if on this particular night as the religious leaders were assembled there together they wondered if their conspiracy and plot would actually work and come to fruition. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the incredible truth that on this particular night the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people were assembled in the palace of the high priest awaiting the potential return of the soldiers and guards. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the religious leaders who had for quite some time now sought to lay hands on the Lord Jesus that they might put Him to death and destroy Him were waiting with baited breath to see if the soldiers would return with the Lord Jesus. Undoubtedly they were assembled with the expectation that the soldiers and guards would return with the Lord Jesus as their chief prize and trophy, however, there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if they all assembled together wondering and waiting to see if those soldiers and guards whom they sent with one of Jesus’ own disciples would indeed return with Jesus in their custody. I am trying to imagine what the scene within the palace of the high priest was indeed like during that night and how they perhaps all waited with baited breath wondering whether or not the Lord Jesus would indeed be brought back unto them by the soldiers and guards. Oh imagine their surprise and sheer and utter delight when the soldiers and guards did in fact return with the Lord Jesus of Nazareth in custody. There is not a doubt in my mind that when the soldiers and guards returned together with Jesus of Nazareth in custody bound by chains and perhaps even shackles they rejoiced and were greatly delighted and pleased at the sight. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it was like in the palace of the high priest when the religious leaders witnessed Jesus of Nazareth being brought into the palace by the soldiers and guards whom they had sent for that very purpose. Continuing to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find how the soldiers and guards led Jesus away to the high priest who was together present with the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. Pause for a moment and consider how there were three different factions of the religious community and leadership of the nation and people of Israel who were present on this particular night with the high priest. Jesus of Nazareth would be led by the soldiers and guards unto the palace of the high priest who was gathered and assembled there together with three different sects of the religious leadership which was present in the midst of the nation. On this particular night—not only were the chief priests present in the palace of the high priest but the elders and scribes were there together as well. Stop and consider the fact that all that was missing was the Pharisees, the Sadducees and perhaps the teachers of the Law in the palace of the high priest. Imagine what this council of religious leaders looked like as perhaps the three most powerful factions and sects within the religious community were gathered there together as Jesus arrived. What’s more is there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder how many total religious leaders were present on this particular night as the soldiers and guards would return with the Lord Jesus bound in chains and shackles. I would imagine that there were perhaps no religious leaders who would want to miss being there when Jesus of Nazareth was brought unto them. I firmly believe there were countless members of the chief priests, the scribes and elders of the people of Israel who desperately wanted to be there if and/or when the Lord Jesus might have been brought unto them by the soldiers and guards whom they had dispatched for that very purpose. The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible language that is found within the palace of the high priest. As you continue reading within this passage of Scripture you will find that as the soldiers and guards brought the Lord Jesus unto the palace of the high priest Peter followed Him afar off—even into the palace of the high priest—and sat with the servants as he warmed himself at the fire. Immediately after this John Mark writes how the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death. What makes this truly intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that although the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death they found none. Although there were many who bore false witness against him their witness did not agree together. Eventually, however, there would arise certain among them who would bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.” This particular accusation is incredibly unique when you take the time to think about it when consider it for it calls and draws our attention—not only to an earlier account of the Lord Jesus in the Temple but also to an even which would take place in the Temple as Jesus breathed His last. What’s more is that the words which we find here point to something altogether intriguing and captivating when you take the time to think about it for it would point to the dwelling place of the living and eternal God. With these words we not only look back to the words which Solomon himself spoke concerning the living and eternal God but also those words which the prophet Isaiah had spoken. Not only this but those same words would be spoken by Stephen and the apostle Paul concerning the temple in heaven made without human hands and its direct connection to the physical temple which would stand in the midst of the earth. If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will also find a powerful reference to a temple which neither the Jews themselves nor the religious leaders had any understanding of when the words proceeded forth from the mouth of the Lord Jesus. It would be here in the palace of the high priest certain false witnesses stood up for to accuse the Lord Jesus and would bring false accusation against Him of making the statement that He would destroy the physical Jewish Temple which was built with human hands and would rebuild one again within three days. What makes this truly astonishing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the words and language which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John for within this text the apostle John would declare that the religious Jews thought that Jesus was speaking of the physical Temple in which they stood not realizing or recognizing the temple which He spoke of was the physical temple of His body. These false witnesses who stood up for to accuse the Lord Jesus sought to accuse Him on the basis that He had made the statement He would destroy the physical Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount. What makes this all the more intriguing when you think about it is there false witness and false accusation not only called and drew attention to the words which the Lord Jesus had spoken previously but their words would also serve as a powerful prophetic witness and testimony to those words. According to the Jewish Law it would be out of the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter would be confirmed and what we find here in the palace of the high priest is at least one—if not more—false witnesses rising up seeking to accuse the Lord Jesus of declaring He would destroy the Temple and in three days He would rebuild it. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. The words we find here in this particular passage of Scripture help bring us face to face with one of the tremendous and powerful truths found at the very heart of the Lord Jesus standing trial in the palace of the high priest before the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of that which is found in this passage of Scripture for there is something truly astonishing when we think about and consider how these false witnesses sought to accuse the Lord Jesus and actually they would actually confirm the word which He had previously spoken in the Temple earlier during His public ministry. These false witnesses sought to accuse the Lord Jesus of declaring that He would destroy this Temple which was made with human hands and rebuild it in three days and what makes the account of John Mark so incredibly unique is when you consider the way he presents the accusation. As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find these false witnesses seeking to accuse the Lord Jesus of making the declaration that He would destroy the Temple which was made with human hands and within three days He would build another without human hands. What’s more is that as you continue reading the gospel narrative you will find that these words and this accusation would be spoken again while Jesus was hanging there upon the cross. It would be while the Lord Jesus hung suspended between earth and sky upon the cruel Roman tree that those who passed by would wag their heads at Him and mock and tempt Him making the statement that if He could destroy the Temple made with human hands and rebuild it in three days He would be able to save Himself. Those who passed by would continue to use those words which He had spoken in the Temple—albeit out of context—and would essentially serve as further confirmation of the destruction that was taking place before their very eyes. Consider now if you will the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John before also considering the different narratives and accounts of the accusation of Jesus in the palace of the high priest as well as while Jesus hung there upon the cross suspended between earth and sky: “After this he went down to Capernaum, he and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:12-17). “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. 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. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:18-25). Please pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is the Lord Jesus entering into the Temple which stood in the midst of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount and finding in the midst of it those which sold oxen and sheep and doves as well as the changers of money sitting. It would be upon seeing those which sold in the Temple, those which counted and changed the money, as well as that which was sold within the Temple Jesus would be filled with holy anger and righteous indignation for His Father’s house and would proceed with bringing cleansing to the Temple. The apostle John writes and records how after Jesus had mad a scourge of small cords he drove them all out of the Temple, and the sheep, and the oxen. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would also pour out the changers’ money as well as overthrowing the tables before speaking unto those who sold doves and instruct them to take those things out of the Temple and make not His Father’s house a house of merchandise. Oh it would have been one thing for the narrative and account to stop there, however, what we find is the apostle John going on to describe the response of the Jews. It is as you continue reading in the final verses of the second chapter you will find the apostle John describing how the Jews—undoubtedly the religious Jews which were present in the midst of Judaea and Jerusalem during that time—would speak unto the Lord Jesus and ask Him what sign he would shew unto them seeing that He performed such things among them in their midst. The Jews would demand a sign from the Lord Jesus after witnessing and beholding His fury within the midst of the Temple as he not only overturned the money changers’ money tables but also drove out all the commerce and merchandise which was present in the midst of it. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for those Jews which were present on this particular occasion would demand of Jesus a sign that would demonstrate that He had the authority to engage Himself in such behavior and perform such actions. I sit here today thinking about the words and language which is found in this passage of Scripture for it would be in response to the Jews’ question the Lord Jesus would answer them by emphatically declaring, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” This statement is one that was actually quite unique when you think about it for the text seems to indicate that He was still in the court of the Temple when He spoke those words. Imagine the Lord Jesus standing in the midst of the Temple emphatically declaring unto the religious Jews, saying, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” It is incredibly easy to think about the Jews who were present on this particular day and how they would have thought and assumed He was speaking about that physical Temple which was made with human hands. It would have been very easy for the Jews which were present on this particular day to think about Jesus’ words and think that He was speaking about the physical Temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem upon the Temple Mount and on mount Moriah itself. What we find, however, is the Lord Jesus would not speak of the physical Jewish Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount and which was built with human hands but rather the Temple of His body. In fact this is what makes the account of John Mark so incredibly unique and powerful for the accusations which would be brought against the Lord Jesus stated that He made the declaration He would destroy the Temple which was made with human hands and rebuild one without hands in three days. What is truly astonishing about this is even the physical Temple of the Lord Jesus would not be made with human hands. If you truly take the time to read and study Scripture you will find that the physical body which Jesus took upon Himself came not from the seed of a man but rather from the seed of a woman and from the power of the Holy Spirit. Unlike the first Adam whose physical flesh was formed from the dust of the earth Jesus as the second Adam would not be formed from the dust of the earth or even formed with the divine hands but was eternal and uncreated. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis, the fifth chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Roman saints, the second chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews as well as the first chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over everything creeping thing that creeped the upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that move the upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28). “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD god had not cause it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:4-7). “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: But sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21). “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels: thou crowned at him with glory and honour, and dust set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself. Likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil: and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18). “IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shine the in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness to bear witness of the Light that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighters every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, he that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. NO man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son which is in the bottom of the Father; he hath declared Him” (John 1:1-18). The words we find in these passages of Scripture are incredibly necessary to recognize and pay attention to for they help us recognize and understand that the accusation which those false witnesses brought against the Lord Jesus not only further confirmed and served as a witness of the words He had previously spoken but they would also provide a powerful witness concerning the actual temple which was the physical body of the Lord Jesus. It’s important to note that while Jesus was indeed the second Adam He was entirely and altogether unlike the first Adam. The Lord Jesus would indeed take upon Himself the seed of Abraham and would indeed become flesh that He might walk among us, however, we must needs recognize and understand that His physical flesh came not from the seed of man. The physical Temple which was indeed the physical body of the Lord Jesus was not formed by anyone other than the person of the Holy Spirit. We know that Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, however, we know that Jesus was indeed the eternal and only begotten of the Father which is in heaven. Jesus was indeed the eternal and uncreated One who has not only seen the Father but also communicates and reveals the Father unto us. This is something we have a great need to pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible and powerful truth surrounding the physical Temple which was the body of the Lord Jesus. When the Lord Jesus spoke of the temple being destroyed and raised up in three days He was indeed speaking of the physical Temple of His body which was going to be destroyed. It’s actually quite interesting to think about the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto the Jews for those words actually revealed that the physical temple of His body would indeed be destroyed. Despite the fact that the physical temple of His body would be destroyed it would be raised up on the third day. Those who heard the words which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke on this particular day had absolutely no understanding that the temple which He spoke about was the physical temple of His body and that it would indeed be destroyed. On this particular day the Lord Jesus would emphatically declare that the physical Temple of His body would indeed be destroyed but that it would be raised from death to life on the third day. IN order to understand this all the more I am absolutely convinced we must needs consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew as well as by the beloved physician Luke. It is within these two gospel narratives we find these gospel authors writing and presenting their readers and audience with the angelic visitation of Gabriel unto Mary while she was in Galilee and proclaiming that she would indeed be with child of the Holy Ghost. Despite the fact that Mary had not known a man she would be with child—this despite the fact that she would not as of this time know physical intimacy with a man. She was indeed espoused to Joseph to be his wife, however, they had not yet been married and had not yet consummated their marriage. It is in these two gospel narratives we find the apostle Matthew and the physician Luke writing of the angelic visitation of Gabriel unto Mary proclaiming and heralding unto her that she was blessed and highly favored of the living God. What’s more is that not only was she blessed and highly favored by the living God but she was personally chosen by the living and eternal God to be the vessel which would conceive and carry the life of the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. The angel Gabriel would indeed speak unto Mary and personally declare unto her that she would conceive and bring forth a child though it would not come as a direct result of any union with man nor of the will of man but as a result of the Holy Ghost coming upon her. It would be the angel Gabriel who would declare unto her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her and the power of the Highest would overshadow her thus enabling and allowing her to conceive the life of the eternal and only begotten Son. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus being born of a virgin precisely and exactly as the prophet Isaiah had declared. Oh it is with this in mind I not only invite you to consider the words which are found in the gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew and the physician Luke but also the words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah: “Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings” (Isaiah 7:14-16). “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of host will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7). “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privileges. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the LORD had hidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Matthew 1:18-25). “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that are highly favored, the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at this saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the LORD God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his. Kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the LORD; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-38). We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the incredible truth that the Lord Jesus did indeed come in the form of physical and human flesh, however, that was not born of the seed of the man. It is indeed true that Adam was formed from the dust of the earth, however, when it comes to the Lord Jesus He was the only one to walk the face of the earth who was eternal and uncreated. The Lord Jesus would indeed set aside His glory and the majesty and honor He had with the Father from before time began that He might take upon Himself the form of physical flesh and blood. It’s incredibly interesting to read and consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives for within it we find the false witnesses who sought to accuse and bear false witness against the Lord Jesus actually prophesying and speaking of the physical temple of His body which was not created nor was it made with human hands. The temple made with human hands they thought and spoke of was the physical temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, however, that which the Lord Jesus spoke of was the physical Temple of His body. The Lord Jesus knew that He was going to suffer and die and knew that His physical body would be destroyed before being raised up from death to life. What’s more is that despite the fact that His physical body would indeed be destroyed it would be raised up from death to life on the third day. The Lord Jesus would suffer many things in the flesh and it would be in the flesh He would also die before His lifeless body would be buried in a borrowed tomb. It is truly astonishing to think about and consider the words and language which is found in these passages of Scripture for these false witnesses would seek to accuse the Lord Jesus of speaking blasphemy when He spoke of the temple being destroyed and being raised in three days and yet the truth was that they did not realize He was speaking of the temple of His physical body. There is something absolutely powerful when you read the words which are found within the gospels for they call and draw our attention to the wonderful truth surrounding the physical Temple which was the body and flesh of the Lord Jesus which although it was not created with and by human hands would suffer and would be destroyed through death. The physical body of the Lord Jesus would indeed suffer at the hands of the religious leaders and ultimately at the hands of sinners. The Lord Jesus Christ would indeed suffer many things in the flesh before His physical body would be destroyed at the hands of sinners who would scourge and crucify Him. The physical temple of the body of the Lord Jesus would indeed be destroyed through death and would be buried in a borrowed tomb before it would be raised from death to life on the third day. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider it for from the time Jesus would stand trial before the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people to the time He would breath His final breath and give up the ghost these words would be spoken and mentioned both by false witness and mockers. The gospel narratives call and draw our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus being accused based on these words which He had spoken in the Temple—despite the fact that they would be misrepresented and taken out of context. The Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be accused by false witnesses in the presence of religious leaders alike concerning the destruction of the Temple as well as would be mocked, ridiculed, scorned and even tempted using these same words. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture beginning with the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew: “And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; but found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:57-63). “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests, mocking him with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he being the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth” (Matthew 27:39-44). “And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We have heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But neither so did their witness agree together. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, The Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:53-62). “And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him” (Mark 15:29-32). I sit here today thinking about the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and I find it absolutely amazing that not only were the words which Jesus spoke in the Temple earlier when He cleansed it used as means to accuse Him but they were also used as means to tempt Him to come down from the cross. There would be false witnesses which would come into the midst of the religious leaders and would accuse the Lord Jesus of the words which He had spoken concerning the Temple and destroying it before raising it up on the third day. It is absolutely incredible to read those words for while it might seem like these words were accusation against the Lord Jesus they would actually serve as a prophetic witness and confirmation for Him and that which He was called to do. The Lord Jesus would indeed speak of the destruction of the physical Temple of His body before it would be raised from death to life on the third and the Jews could not get past those words—a reality which would be proven when Jesus would stand before the religious leaders as accusation after accusation would come against Him. Both the apostle Matthew and John Mark both write how despite all the false witnesses and false accusations which came against the Lord Jesus they did not agree with each other. Eventually, however there would be witnesses who would stand up in the midst of them and speak of how Jesus declared He would destroy the Temple which was made with hands and rebuild one which was made without human hands—a reality which the gospel narrative written by the apostle John made absolutely no mention of. There was nowhere on this particular occasion where the Lord Jesus would declare “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up again on the third day.” The Jews who heard these words thought Jesus was speaking of the physical temple which was made with humans hands and might even have thought that he would rebuild it without human hands. The accusation brought against the Lord Jesus not only spoke of the destruction of a temple made with hands but also the raising up of a temple made without human hands. I am absolutely convinced there is a great need for us to recognize and understand the language surrounding this temple made with human hands being destroyed and another temple made without human hands being raised up. The physical Temple of the Lord Jesus which was not made with and by human hands nor of the will of the flesh would be destroyed before being raised up on the third day, however, we must also recognize and understand that for almost forty years there would be two temples which would exist within and upon the earth. There would be the physical Jewish Temple which would stand upon the Temple Mount before it would be destroyed when the Romans invaded the city of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. and there would be a second Temple which would be one that was not made with human hands but rather was made without human hands. There would be a second temple which would not be a temple which any nation or people could lay claim to and would be the temple of the living God. Oh it would be as early as the days of Solomon when it would be declared that the living and eternal God does not dwell in temples or a Temple made by human hands—a reality which would be proclaimed once more by the prophet Isaiah before being spoken by Stephen in his defense before the Sanhedrin as well as by the apostle Paul when he would speak unto the Athenians in the midst of the Greece. What’s more is that it would also be at the very heart of the message the apostle Paul would write in the sixth chapters of both the first and second epistle written unto the Corinthian saints. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture beginning with the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Gailaleans? And now hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers of Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrgyia, and Pamphylica, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:1-13). “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive” (2 Chronicles 6:18-21). “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: Where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isaiah 66:1-2). “But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth. Not in templates made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? Saith the LORD: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it” (Acts 7:47-53). “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if happy they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:23-31). “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the member of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinners against his own body. Why? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and. Ye are not of your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:15-20). “O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And that communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belgian? OR what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch. Not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the LORD Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:15-18). The words which are found within these passages call and draw our attention to the incredibly powerful significance of the words which the false witnesses who accused Jesus based on the words which He had spoken within the Temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Standing before the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel these false witnesses accused Jesus of declaring that He would destroy this temple which was made with human hands and would rebuild one without hands in three days. What makes this truly intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider how those words would indeed come to pass, however, it would not be the Lord Jesus who would destroy the Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount. In the year 70 A.D. the Jewish Temple which had stood upon the Temple Mount from the time the Jewish exiles returned from Babylon after seventy years of captivity would ultimately be destroyed as a direct result of Rome invading the city of Jerusalem. What makes this all the more astonishing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that in the year 33 A.D.—the year when not only did Jesus suffer in the flesh, the year when not only was Jesus crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb, the year when He was raised from death to life and demonstrated Himself alive with many infallible proofs over a period of forty days, and the year when He ascended unto the right hand of the Father—the Holy Spirit which was the promise of the Father would indeed be sent by the ascended Jesus from the right hand of all glory. It would be on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit’s arrival in the upper room would not only arrive with cloven tongues of fire enabling each of them to speak with other tongues as He gave them utterance but would also give birth to the body of Christ. It would be on the day of Pentecost when the Church as we know it—and not only the Church but also the Temple of the Holy Spirit—would be manifested and brought forth in the midst of the earth. The more you think about this particular truth the more you will encounter the incredible reality that for almost forty years there would be two temples present in the midst of the earth and among men. There would be the Jewish Temple which would stand upon the Temple Mount which would stand in that place until the year 70 A.D. while there would also be a secondary Temple. It would be this second Temple which would be entirely and altogether different from the Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount for this new and living Temple would be one that would be brought into existence without and apart from human hands. Although the Jewish Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount would indeed be in existence for nearly forty years following the suffering, death, burial , resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus there would be a secondary Temple—one which was made without human hands—that would be present in the midst of the land. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something prophetic and symbolic of the words which the false witnesses had spoken in the presence of religion and its leaders. There standing before all the chief priests, all the scribes and all the elders of Israel these false witnesses would accuse Jesus of declaring that He would destroy this Temple which was made with and by human hands and would raise up and rebuild one in three days without human hands. Oh how true their words were for not only would they further confirm the words which the Lord Jesus had spoken in the Temple but they would also further confirm the purpose and mission for which He had come—namely, that the physical temple of His physical body might be destroyed before being raised from death to life on the third day. As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth for within it we are brought face to face with the words these false witnesses sought to bring against the Lord Jesus accusing Him of declaring that He would destroy this Temple made with human hands and raise one up in three days without human hands. We know from the gospel narrative written by the apostle John the temple which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of wasn’t the physical Jewish Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount but rather the temple of His physical body. The Lord Jesus would indeed give them a sign, however, it would not only be a sign they did not understand but which many of them completely ignored and missed when He declared it. The Lord Jesus did indeed give them a sign, however, they would misunderstand it thinking He spoke to them of the physical Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount. The sign which the Lord Jesus would give them would indeed be the sign of the destruction of the physical temple of His body before it would be rebuilt on three days by the Holy Ghost Himself. With this being said it is imperative that we understand the tremendous significance surrounding the death of the Lord Jesus for when He yielded up the ghost and breathed His last—not only would there be an earthquake that would strike the earth, not only would the graves of many righteous saints be opened, but so also would the veil which separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies be torn in two from top to bottom. On the day of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ the veil would indeed be torn in two from top to bottom thus serving as a sign and portent that this temple would no longer stand or be needed on the Temple Mount. Of course we know the Temple would stand for almost forty years after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus, however, it would ultimately be destroyed in the year 70 A.D. There is something truly powerful about the words which these false witnesses spoke in an attempt to accuse the Lord Jesus as well as the words which those passerbys spoke unto Jesus while He hung there upon the cross. All those from the false witnesses to those who passed by the cross while the Lord Jesus hung there suspended between earth and sky would use the words which He had spoken concerning the Temple not realizing that there would come a day fifty days later when a new Temple would be established in the midst of the earth. This Temple would be one which would be established by the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who would be seated at the right hand of the Father as He would send the person and promise of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus would indeed send the person, presence and promise of the Holy Spirit which would indeed be the birth of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh there is something we must needs recognize and understand when thinking about and considering this for there would indeed be a new and living temple established in the midst of the earth as a direct result of the death of the Lord Jesus—and not only the death of the Lord Jesus but also the burial and resurrection and ascension of the Lord on the third day. There is a great need for us to recognize and understand this for fifty days after His death the Lord Jesus would give the promise of the Holy Spirit who would bring about the establishment of a new and living Temple which would be one made without human hands. We must needs pay close attention to this as it calls and draws our attention to the incredible reality of a new and living Temple which would be established in the earth—one that would be made without human hands. Fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ there would be an establishment of a new and living Temple made without human hands which would be the temple of the Holy Spirit which is the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us truly recognize and understand this for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible and beautiful reality of the Temple of the Holy Spirit which is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ—a body in which we are a member if we have confessed with our mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believed with our heart that the Father raised Him from death to life on the third day.

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