When Jesus made the statement, “I’ll rebuild this temple in three days” I believe he was calling into question where his disciples placed their allegiance.We read in Mark’s gospel, that the disciples were impressed by the magnitude of the temple, rightfully so.
We tend to get caught up in what’s going on around us, placing our trust and attention on things that seem impressive. The problem with that lies in the fact that Jesus was a suffering savior and not a conqueror of the Roman Empire. He ushered in a new kingdom that is grounded in mercy, peace and generosity.
He looked very different than the Temple, which housed the spirit of God in an impressive way. He was powerful, but in a new way.
Jesus represented an entirely new way of living when he introduced the new covenant. A covenant that had more to do with forgiveness than preservation. More to do with extending grace than carrying on traditions. More to do with the heart than with the law. Or perhaps a realization that it was always about these things, and we need to regain our focus.
The temple that Jesus rebuilt in three days is one that represents a kingdom that provides freedom to the captive and rest for the weary. But, you see, it doesn’t look all that great. The message of Jesus is powerful, but it is meek. There was nothing about the temple in Jerusalem that was meek.
Saying things like, “I’ll rebuild it in three days” were things that would not only incite a crowd, but lead a revolutionary to his death. People hold on to what they know, what they can see, and what has always been their – tightly. Jesus represents a new way, where our allegiance is realigned to the kingdom of God.
It has never been about a political party, and it never will be. You can’t spin a sociopolitical issue enough to create a marketable messiah. A flag will never stand in the place of a cross. Because no matter who wins the election, what reform gets passed or what scandal breaks next – the tomb will still be empty and the cross will still save.
I hope as the Church, we get this. Hope and Mercy, Grace and Peace.