Should we live as the Bible commands us to live? Is the Bible relevant for us today? Are there many ways to heaven? What makes the Bible different than any other book? How would you answer those questions?
Certainly, not all religious beliefs are true. Many contradict each other, so something has to give. So what makes Christianity different than all the other religions? Maybe we should just get on YouTube and do like the cool people do and deny the faith. That seems to be sort of trendy now days. Deny the faith. Live as we want. The Bible has no authority over our lives!
The religious leaders of the day challenged the authority of Jesus many times over. Yet Jesus never backed down, he never shied away, he always had the right answer to baffle those who opposed Him.
Such was the case in John Chapter two, but it must have really irritated the religious leaders this time, because they would remind Him of this scene two or three years later while Jesus was hanging on the cross. Just imagine holding something on the inside of you for two or three years that is really irritating you, and you are just waiting for the opportune time to get even, just to stick in their face and say, see I told you so!
The Bible says in John chapter two verse 13 And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business 15 When he had made whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things away; Do not make my Father's house a house of merchandise.
Here is Jesus, He walks into the Temple of all Places, and finds the religious leaders of the day taking advantage of anyone and everyone who made the trip to Jerusalem. The Jews were required to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover. For those who couldn’t bring their sacrifice from home, they could buy one at the temple, but the religious leaders in the temple were charging exorbitant prices.
Sort of like when you go to a baseball game on a hot summer afternoon, and you have to pay six bucks for a small bottle of water. Either pay or faint from the heat, so you choose to pay the six bucks. The same deal for the Jews. Either pay the crazy prices or no sacrifice. So Jesus walks into the Temple. He sees what is going on. He knows it is wrong, so he makes a whip and cleans house.
So when the dust settles the religious leaders get together and surround Jesus and begin to challenge His authority. Who gives you the authority to do this? Give us a sign! Show us a miracle to prove you have authority to do this.
So here is Jesus, standing in the temple, and Jesus says, destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. That is not what they expected or what they wanted! Plus, the Jews totally misunderstood Him. They thought He was talking about the temple, the building, but He was talking about His body.
So in Mark Chapter 15 Jesus is hanging on the cross, the Jews are gathered around to watch the Crucifixion of this man who destroyed their get rich quick schemes in the temple. Now is their chance to really stick it to Him for His dastardly deed. Jesus is hanging on the cross for the sins of the world and the Jews are standing there mocking Him, and they say, You who destroys the temple and build it in three days, save yourself and come down from the cross.
Yes, they finally did it! They stuck it to the man! After three long years, all that hatred all that anger comes out, and this time the Jews finally get to humiliate Jesus.
He had no authority to cleanse the temple. He had not authority to tell them how to live. They had life all figured out. Who was He to rain on their party? He was just another religious kook! Hang Him on a cross and be done with Him! They had their lives to live.
But little did they know, in three days He would be resurrected from the grave and all authority would be given unto Him. He would raise the temple … His body and live forever more! Buddha, Mohamed, and whoever else, they are all dead. But Jesus … Jesus, rose from the grave and lives forever more.
What sets the Bible apart from all others? What makes Christianity different than all other religions? Why should we live as the Bible commands us to? Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!