John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
To begin, it must be pointed out that verse 21 of this chapter tells us that Jesus was referring to the temple of His body. The people of course missed this metaphor as is recorded in verse 20,
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
What an outlandish prediction these men thought it was for Jesus to say that the temple could be destroyed and He could raise it up in three days. This would have been a small task for the One who spoke the universe into existence from nothing. He had something much larger in mind. He taught that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He said when he went to the tomb of Lazarus,
I am the resurrection and the life.
The raising of Lazarus proved this, but only God has life within Himself to lay His life down and take it up again.
Jesus, by dying on the cross for us, willingly laying down His life for us, proved without a shadow of a doubt that He is God. John 10:17 says,
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Only God is self sufficient to the point of laying down and taking up life.
We can rest in the promise of a resurrection because we have a high priest who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. We have a high priest who has tasted of our humanly existence, even death. He did this without sin and with the knowledge that He would take up His life on the third day.
For us who belong to Christ, He is first fruits. He was planted in the ground as the first seed, the incorruptible seed. We are born first of corruptible seed, but when we are born again we are born of incorruptible seed and Jesus is first fruits. He is the One who was planted in the ground and came out of the ground in life. We too shall live, because He lives and in Him we live and move and have our being. Because He lives, I too shall live. Because He lives, you shall live. Because He lives I can face tomorrow.
One day this mortality shall put on immortality. One day faith shall end with sight, when I behold Him who I adore face to face. This hope is alive in me because He raised His bodily temple in three days after men destroyed it. Because He was dead and now lives, we have the blessed hope to live also. We shall behold Him.
These verses also remind me of another time when people asked for a sign and Jesus alluded to His crucifixion and resurrection in a different manner by using Jonah as an example. In Matthew 12:28 the Scribes and Pharisees asked,
Master we would see a sign from thee.
Jesus responded in verses 28 and 29,
An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
These are the scholars of scripture that have come to Jesus and have asked for a sign. Does this sound like our generation? What else did these people need to see? He had turned the water into wine, healed the lame, cast demons out, and taught things that only God could teach. Preachers today, preach the inerrant Word of God, proclaim the gospel story, and show us the way to salvation, the cross of our dear Lord.
What do we do today? We ask for a sign. “Don’t just preach the truth, I demand to see some signs.” We are an evil and adulterous generation. Why? Because we are so free with the satisfaction of the flesh? Because we have turned our back as a generation on the God of our parents? Because abortion on demand is the rule of the day and the abortion clinic and every other easy way out is our altar? These are symptoms of the problem.
What does Jesus say? He says,
An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.
This is our problem as a generation. We have been told the truth by the previous generation, but we are looking for a magic show. Some have looked to the new age movement, to tarot cards, seance and palm readers. Some have not left church, but have departed from THE Church, running after anyone that calls himself or herself a prophet, healer, laugher in the Spirit, gold dust catcher, audience slayer, or any other idiotic thing one can think of these days. We have departed from our first love. We have departed from Jesus and have fallen in love with lesser things. Instead of meaningful worship, we demand a magic show. We have traded the reality and truth of the gospel for the Great Kreskin or Benny Hinn.
We have left our first love, the love of the Christ and His gospel. The miracles aren’t to be loved and worshiped, Christ is to be loved above all else. I don’t need to see another sign to satisfy my heart and soul. The lover of my soul, Jesus, has satisfied my soul by calling me His own. What better sign could we ask for than the one already given at the cross?
He died for us, Hallelujah!!! I was lost and He died for me. I was not righteous and He called me righteous, only because of faith in what He did at the cross to pardon my sin. I was lost and unlovely, but for some reason He loved me and loves me still. He who is perfect died for one such as I. I don’t understand why, but what a Savior, what a sign!!!