Come and See a Temple Built and Hope Raised

GodReflection: Come and See—God Saved the Best for Now

“Come and see,” said Philip (John 1:46). “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (John 2: 10).

gary-2015Occasionally, I wonder how many times have I totally missed or misconstrued teachings from the Holy. Since my gnat-size brain is so often out of sync with God’s best for my life I know my misconceptions are in numbers far beyond what I could ever imagine.

Early in the Gospel, John sets the stage for me to eventually see that God has saved the best till now. Had I been among those in the Temple courts that day, my comprehension of what had just happened would have been parallel to the temple1Jewish leaders and his disciples. I wouldn’t have understood.

In Holy Indignation, Jesus went through the Temple courts turning over tables and driving profiteers off the grounds. How could Jesus mess with our church?

John calls me to come and see Jesus’ court-cleaning defense. It’s not so much a defense—rather it’s a proclamation. It’s an important event in preparation for what would happen three days after his secret disciples, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus buried hope. So, the accusation rings out with a question:

“What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

Then comes the insightful exchange: Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I temple17will raise it again in three days.”

They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken (2:18-22).

She arrived in the dark of Sunday morning at the garden tomb. Mary Magdalene was the first to report the tomb empty. Alarmed, she called Peter and John who came, saw and at least John believed.

temple7His running partner may have been a little slow but Peter caught up with John and both arrived as fast as they could. By the time the inspection is finished and the apostles leave to inform the others Mary has caught up and is back at the empty tomb. There alone she weeps in sorrow.

Her devotion started as a healed invalid cured by Jesus (Luke8:21). She was fueled by gratitude, trust and hope.  Mary was a leader among those who followed Jesus. She had supported him financially (Matt.27:56) throughout his ministry. Twelve times she is mentioned in the Gospels. She had stood at the cross and watched him die.

temple10As tears continued to flow from her eyes, she had to look into the tomb one more time.

This time, she saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

temple9Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father . . . I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (20:12-17).

She saw it: Hope had risen. In three days, the temple of Jesus had been destroyed and rebuilt.

It is to that empty tomb and Jesus’ Living Temple God invites. Come and see. He truly saved the best till now.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Come and See a Temple Built and Hope Raised     

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