In today’s Gospel reading, when Jesus tells the people in the Temple area about building the Temple in three days, He is trying to tell them about how God actually accomplishes things:
“Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.”… But He was speaking about the Temple of His Body. Therefore, when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this…
We can clearly see that the people who had confronted Him were thinking only on the surface level, so this was an easy point for Jesus to make. But we also tend not to see the depth of what He was speaking about. To understand this, we have to go to our reading from St. Paul:
Brothers and sisters:
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Sometimes God uses our strengths, and sometimes God handles things without our help, because it is beyond us. God wants us to cooperate, and our work, when directed by God’s Will, can accomplish things of marvelous importance. The Temple in Jerusalem is one of those things. It was a marvel of engineering and effort and determination and cooperation, and all of these things were directed toward a worthy goal: to build a place worthy of encountering God. And it was, because the people had put everything they had toward building it.
What Jesus did looks awfully different, and it is beyond what we can fully understand. What the world saw was weakness, what his family and friends experienced was sorrow. But the reality is Victory, because the Resurrection had to come through the Crucifixion. It was the life and death that God lived among us that was seen as weak, because it was marked by love, compassion, and sacrifice. Let us not make the same mistake, falling into despair because we see things our way. Let us always have Hope, because our God is in control. Christ has already won the Victory; let us simply join our lives to His more deeply, and His strength will become our own.