“Jesus answered them.
‘Destroy this Temple!
In three days,
I will raise it up.’”
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον, καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν.
John indicated that Jesus replied (ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς). He said to the Jewish officials who questioned him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that if this Temple was destroyed (Λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον) he would raise it up (ἐγερῶ αὐτόν) in three days (καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις). This is similar to Mark and Matthew, but they said that it was the witnesses in the Jewish Sanhedrin during his trial of Jesus, at the of his ministry who spoke out. Matthew, chapter 26:61, indicated that two witnesses said that this man Jesus had said (εἶπαν Οὗτος ἔφη) that he was able to destroy the Temple of God (Δύναμαι καταλῦσαι τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ) and rebuild it in three days (καὶ διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν οἰκοδομῆσαι). Jesus had mentioned destroying this Temple in chapter 24:2, and his resurrection in three days in chapters 16:21, 17:23, and 20:19. Mark, chapter 14:58, indicated that someone said that they had heard this man Jesus saying (ὅτι Ἡμεῖς ἠκούσαμεν αὐτοῦ λέγοντος) that he was going to destroy this Temple made by human hands (ὅτι Ἐγὼ καταλύσω τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον τὸν χειροποίητον). Then Jesus said that he would build another Temple in three days (καὶ διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν ἄλλον οἰκοδομήσω) without human hands (ἀχειροποίητον). There was no indication of when these witnesses said that Jesus had uttered these words. However, this saying of Jesus was well known. Obviously, the Christian followers of Jesus saw this as a sign of his resurrection in three days after his death. Why was the three days so important for the early Christians? Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?