Jesus "made a [kind of] whip of cords and drove sheep and oxen alike out of the temple area." —John 2:15
By cleansing the temple, Jesus may have proclaimed that the animal sacrifices of the old law were no longer necessary. This would be a shocking revelation, because animal sacrifice was called for in Leviticus and was the heart of Jewish worship. When He cleansed the temple, Jesus may have been saying He was above the Scriptures, tradition, and the Temple. He may have been saying that He was God.
The obvious response to Jesus' seemingly blasphemous action was to either stone Him or ask for a sign showing His authority to do such a thing, which would show that He was God. Jesus gave such a sign, declaring that the Temple of His body would be destroyed and then raised up on the third day (Jn 2:19).
When Jesus' body was destroyed on Calvary, He made the once-and-for-all perfect sacrifice that atoned for all sin and made animal sacrifice obsolete (Heb 10:14, 18). When Jesus rose from the dead, He showed He was God, for only God has power over death (see Jn 5:21). Only God has the power to go beyond His revelation in Leviticus and His divinely revealed tradition.
When Jesus cleansed the Temple, He was not destroying property but prefiguring the obsolescence of animal sacrifice — the heart of Jewish worship. Only God could do that. Therefore, Jesus would have to be crucified as a blasphemer unless He actually was God. If He was God, and was still crucified, then He would have to rise from the dead. Jesus rose. He is God. Amen!
Prayer: Father, may my obedience to Jesus be so radical as to be understandable to others only if they believe Jesus is God.
Promise: "God's folly is wiser than men." —1 Cor 1:25
Praise: Praise Jesus, Whose love knows no bounds! Alleluia!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus, the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011
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