Jewish teaching indicates that the 10th red heifer will be prepared for sacrifice by the Messiah himself, which is why some Jews believe the Messianic age could be very close at hand.
Will Jesus Come Back When a Third Temple Is Built?
While Christians believe the Messiah has already come in Jesus, the building of the third Holy Temple could signify a different event to some believers: the heralding of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The first Holy Temple was built by Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians when some of the Jews (like Daniel) were taken into exile. The second Holy Temple’s building was commissioned by King Cyrus of Persia, but directed by Zerubbabel and Joshua son of Jehozadak, who led a group of exiles returning to Jerusalem from Babylon. The Second Temple underwent a massive renovation when Herod was ruler in Roman-occupied Israel. This Temple was destroyed by the Romans shortly after Jesus walked the earth.
Some Christians believe a third Holy Temple being built in Jerusalem is a clear sign Jesus is coming back (due to references to a temple in Scriptures that describe the end times such as Daniel 9:27, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, and Revelation 11:1-2).
However, others believe the gospel being preached to all tribes, tongues and cultures will be a clearer sign that Jesus is coming back. These Christians come to this belief due to Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
It’s possible, even, that both things will occur and Jesus will come back. While it’s interesting to think about the end times and it’s important to live as if Jesus is coming back today or tomorrow, really the only certain thing we know about timing is that we won’t know ahead of time!
In Mark 13:32, Jesus tells us, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
What we need to focus on, then, is being about God’s business, being prepared and being vigilant. In the meantime, maybe we’ll occasionally check in on that red calf!