The Jews asked the Lord Jesus to show them a sign. The Lord answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (2:19). The resurrection of the Lord is the unique sign. In the building up of the church, oftentimes people, like the Jews, will challenge us to see what miracles we can do. We should not be tempted to try to perform miracles. We have to follow the Lord Jesus and let ourselves be put to death. Then Christ will be manifested in resurrection. This is the miracle, the sign, that is needed in the building up of the church. The unique sign for the building up of the church is life in resurrection.
After Satan destroyed the Lord’s physical body on the cross, His body was put into a tomb and rested there. The Lord Jesus then went into death, took a tour of the Black House, and came out in resurrection. When Jesus arose, He Himself raised up His dead and buried body. The body of Jesus that was destroyed on the cross was small and weak; the Body of Christ in resurrection is vast and powerful. Which do you prefer to have—the body of Jesus or the Body of Christ? After the Lord’s resurrection, His Body, that is, the temple, was reared up on a much larger scale. The body the enemy destroyed by crucifixion was merely the body of Jesus; what was raised by the Lord in resurrection was not only His own body, but everyone who is joined to Him by faith (1 Pet. 1:3; Eph. 2:6). After the Lord’s resurrection, Satan would have had to say, “I lost my case. I was stupid. I shouldn’t have destroyed Him.” Nevertheless, it was too late for Satan to repent.
Do not be terrified by Satan’s activity. When the Lord Jesus knew that the Jews were attempting to destroy Him, He did not pray, “O Father, kill all these Jews. Father, save Me and protect Me.” Instead of praying that way, the Lord seemed to tell them, “Do your best to kill Me. Be assured that after you put Me to death I will have the opportunity to increase.” No one can frustrate the purpose of the Lord. The more the enemy tries to do, the more he affords the opportunity for the Lord to do something more. Whatever the Lord does is always in resurrection. The Lord builds the temple “in three days,” signifying that He builds it in resurrection.