John 2

Forty-Six Years (John 2.20)

Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? (John 2:20)

Just a side thought about the very specific time-frame here. The physical temple has been under construction for forty-six years; Jesus ministry is finished in three. Is the true temple, the temple of Christ’s Body, finished at forty-nine years? Perhaps. The cycle of seven sevens is significant in the Old Testament, in that it marked a time of sudden freedom, forgiveness, and restoration:

And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile [Jubilee] to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the Day of Atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. (Leviticus 25:8-10)

If Jesus’ death on the cross falls typologically or chronologically on the Day of Atonement, and if John has deliberately lined up that death with ‘seven sevens,’ it would seem as if the intent is clear. The captives go free, the land is restored, and great celebration is made. For more information on this particular Old Testament celebration, I’ve posted a link to the relevant Wiki article: Wikipedia: Biblical Jubilee