Rebuilding the Temple

January 23, 2009 at 9:52 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts | Leave a comment

Matthew 27:39-40.  “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’”  The people insulting Jesus while he hung on the cross chose his claim to be able to rebuild the temple in three days as a mocking point.  That is ironic, because he was doing exactly what they ridiculed him about not doing, yet they couldn’t see it.  They were short-sighted in the matter.  The apostles later recognized Jesus’ words about the rebuilding of the temple as a reference to his death and resurrection.  The temple of his body was being destroyed while Jesus was being insulted; the rebuilding process Jesus predicted had already begun.  They also ridiculed the idea that Jesus was the Son of God, telling him to prove it by coming down from the cross and saving himself.  Here again they missed the big picture.  Their challenge was based on their idea of what God should be like and what God’s Son should do.  Yet, the fact that he was God’s Son is what kept him on the cross.  God’s plan was being carried out in God’s way; from their human-centered vantage point, they couldn’t see it.

Today many criticize God because of their own short-sightedness.  They ask how God could let evil exist; they ask how come they have problems; they laugh at a “god” who could allow himself to die.  (Certainly the wisdom of the cross is foolishness to the world!)  All such questions are human-centered and short-sighted.  The critics think that a real God would make life easy for us here on earth (another reason why the prosperity false gospel is so popular).  God is God, he knows the whole picture.  We are temporal and human, so we do not.  Just like God was working through the cross in the very things he was mocked and for the eternal good of those who mocked him, so today, even in the areas of our lives we question, God is working for our eternal good and for his ultimate glory.

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