Today, on Bright Friday, we hear of Jesus Christ not only chasing the merchants out of the temple, but also comparing the temple to His own body as He prophesied His own resurrection. Reading this text in the light of Pascha, we not only see how Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, but also how the entire worship of the temple finds its fulfilment in Him.
The resurrection of Christ makes all things new and turns everything that we are accustomed to on its head. In it we see how God’s power breaks into our world, reforming and renewing all that had become corrupted and worn-out. Saint Hilary of Poitiers writes,
By the power to take His soul again and to raise the temple up, He declares Himself God and the resurrection His own work: yet He refers all to the authority of His Father’s command. This is not contrary to the meaning of the apostle, when he proclaims Christ, the ‘power of God and the wisdom of God,’ thus referring all the magnificence of His work to the glory of the Father. For whatever Christ does, the power and the wisdom of God does. … Christ was raised from the dead by the working of God, for He Himself worked the works of God with a nature indistinguishable from God’s. And our faith in the resurrection rests on God who raised Christ from the dead.
The Gospel According to John 2:12-22:
At that time, Jesus came to Capernaum with his mother and his brothers and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days.
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.