There has been much debate between theologians concerning the reconstruction of Jerusalem’s third Temple. Some proclaim its resurrection is necessary to fulfill biblical prophecy, while others profess the Temple of God is alive and well, resonating throughout all those who believe in Jesus Christ and thus, only applicable in the spiritual sense. We propose in the context of the respective faiths that both statements hold Truth.
From a Christian perspective the Spirit of Jesus Christ is flowing throughout the new Temple of God: the global Body of Believers. God’s Holy Spirit now resides in those who believe in Jesus Christ– providing a spiritual rebirth. Therefore, believers in Christ have become, through God’s Spirit, the “third” Temple of God, the very dwelling place of God’s Holy Spirit.
Now in the Jewish perspective, their lack of faith in Jesus leads them to believe they’re still bound to the Law of Moses– a Works Gospel. They would naturally be attempting to rebuild the third temple to fulfill their duties as followers of the Old Way, still awaiting their prophet.
16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. – 1 Corinthians 2:16-18
We must also address the veil within the Temple and its symbolic nature. The veil separated the Holy of Holies from the outer Holy Place– symbolically, at the very least, representing a separation between God and man. Once Jesus died, the veil within the Temple was torn in two, symbolizing there would no longer be a separation of God from man, a true realization of God was now expressed.
According to the text, it becomes clear that the construction of the third temple is unnecessary for the Christian, as God’s Spirit now dwells within those who believe in Christ Jesus. And yet, it’s clear to the Jew, that nothing can be more important than the reestablishment of YHWH’s temple and law.
50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. – Matthew 27:50-54