After I was a church teen within the 1990s, one in every of hottest new Christian bands was Third Day. The identify appeared like a riff on the mainstream band Third Eye Blind, however everyone knows the place it actually got here from. In line with Paul’s gospel, Christ was “raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” That is “of first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3–5).
Everyone knows that Christ rose on the third day. However we in all probability aren’t as aware of the latter half of Paul’s assertion, particularly, that Christ was “raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4). This wasn’t simply one thing that occurred in historical past; it was additionally prophesied within the Previous Testomony. Jesus himself says the identical factor in Luke 24:46: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead.”
Which raises the query, the place? The place is it written that Christ would rise on the third day? To seek out the reply, we should do not forget that the Previous Testomony has a couple of method of pointing to Christ. We frequently suppose first of express predictions (e.g., Mic. 5:2). However we come up dry in our seek for “Messiah raised on the third day” predictions. As a result of so far as I do know, there are none.
The Previous Testomony has a couple of method of pointing to Christ.
However the Previous Testomony additionally factors to Christ by means of typological patterns, such because the slaying of the Passover lamb and the constructing of the tabernacle (1 Cor. 5:7; John 1:14). These are additionally issues that Jesus fulfills. And I imagine the “third day” Scriptures that Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians 15:Four fall into this class.
Within the Previous Testomony we discover a sample of God doing large issues on the third day. Redemptive issues. Revelatory issues. And sure, resurrection issues. Listed below are 4 examples.
1. Sparing Isaac
We’re in all probability all aware of the story of Abraham providing up Isaac (Genesis 22). It was an excruciating take a look at of Abraham’s religion, as God commanded him to do the unthinkable, solely to offer a substitute on the final minute.
This occasion is an image of God providing up Jesus on Good Friday. Isaac is described as Abraham’s “only son, whom he loved” (Gen. 22:2; John 3:16). He’s seen carrying the wooden on which he can be slain (Gen. 22:6; John 19:17). And when he asks his father, “Here is the wood but where is the lamb?” Abraham replies, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:7–8). He would certainly. Whereas God spared Abraham’s son, he didn’t spare his personal Son, however delivered him up for us all (Rom. 8:32).
However there’s extra. The story can be an image of Jesus’s resurrection. Abraham tells his servant that each he and Isaac will return (Gen. 22:5). The author of Hebrews appears to deduce from this that Abraham believed God would elevate Isaac from the lifeless: “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back” (Heb. 11:19).
Figuratively talking, Isaac was supplied up. And figuratively talking, he was raised from the lifeless.
Genesis 22 describes the timeframe for Isaac’s figurative loss of life and resurrection:
So Abraham rose early within the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his younger males with him, and his son Isaac. And he . . . went to the place of which God had advised him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and noticed the place from afar. (Gen. 22:3–4)
That is when it went down. The typology isn’t exact, after all. For Isaac, this all occurred on the identical day (not on a Friday and a Sunday). Nonetheless, what occurred to Jesus actually occurred to Isaac figuratively: His father obtained him again from the lifeless. And in keeping with Genesis 22:4, it occurred on the third day.
2. Descending on Sinai
One of many biggest manifestations of God’s presence in your entire Previous Testomony was when God descended on Mount Sinai. This was a pivotal occasion, as God delivered his Regulation to these whom he had redeemed. It was one thing those that witnessed it will always remember.
Within the Previous Testomony we discover a sample of God doing large issues on the third day. Redemptive issues. Revelatory issues. And sure, resurrection issues.
God broadcasts the occasion’s timeframe in Exodus 19. When the folks have lastly arrived at Mount Sinai, he tells Moses:
Go to the folks and consecrate them immediately and tomorrow, and allow them to wash their clothes and be prepared for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai within the sight of all of the folks. (Ex. 19:10–11)
And that’s precisely what occurred.
This was the best of all divine manifestations to this point—a day by no means to be forgotten. And it occurred “on the third day.”
3. Elevating Israel
The regathering of God’s folks from the Babylonian exile is typically described as a resurrection (Ezek. 37:11–14). Hosea 6:2 describes the timeframe of this resurrection:
Come, allow us to return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he might heal us;
he has struck us down, and he’ll bind us up.
After two days he’ll revive us;
on the third day he’ll elevate us up,
that we might reside earlier than him. (Hos. 6:1–2)
After that they had borne God’s wrath, being lower down and killed within the exile (Isa. 6:11–13; 40:1–2), God guarantees to boost them up on the third day.
After all, the reference right here is to Israel being raised, to not the Messiah. However Jesus is the true Israel, the last word offspring of Abraham. And like Israel, God raised him up on the third day (for an in depth parallel, see Matt. 2:15’s use of Hos. 11:1).
4. Saving Jonah
The story of Jonah is well-known—no less than elements of it. Everyone knows he acquired swallowed by a giant fish, and everyone knows he ultimately got here out alive and have become an instrument of Nineveh’s salvation.
The creator provides us the timeframe for a way lengthy Jonah was within the fish’s stomach: “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jon. 1:17). The point out of this timeframe is a powerful trace that after three days Jonah will rise from what he himself refers to as “the belly of Sheol” (Jon. 2:2), the Hebrew phrase for the place of the lifeless (“Hades” in Greek).
It ought to strengthen our religion after we think about that God designed all of historical past with Jesus on the heart, with each third day deliverance pointing on to him.
Chances are you’ll query my earlier examples. However on this case, Jesus connects the typological dots for us, drawing the parallel between Jonah’s deliverance from Sheol and his:
An evil and adulterous technology seeks for an indication, however no signal can be given to it besides the signal of the prophet Jonah. For simply as Jonah was three days and three nights within the stomach of the nice fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights within the coronary heart of the earth. (Matt. 12:39–40)
Don’t get hung up on the truth that there weren’t actually three nights between Jesus’s loss of life and resurrection. The Jews counted days inclusively—the truth that Jesus was lifeless throughout elements of three separate days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) was sufficient of their minds to justify the language of “three days and three nights.”
The purpose is that simply as Jonah acquired spat out of Hades on the third day, so did Jesus (Jonah 2:2; Acts 2:27). And simply as Jonah grew to become an indication to the folks of Nineveh, so Jesus grew to become an indication to his technology (Luke 11:30).
In Accordance with the Scriptures
When Paul says that Christ was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, I imagine he had passages like these in thoughts—and there are extra in addition to (2 Kings 20:5; Est. 5:1). Admittedly, solely the Jonah passage is explicitly talked about within the New Testomony. However quite than limiting us in drawing connections from the Previous Testomony, Jesus’s use of Jonah 1:17 ought to train us tips on how to interpret comparable passages that aren’t explicitly talked about.
The empty tomb shouldn’t have been a shock, particularly coming when it did. It’s not as if the Israelites hadn’t been ready. Not solely had Jesus repeatedly advised them (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34), however God additionally had been working wonders on the third day for millennia. And it wasn’t accidentally. Quite the opposite, it ought to strengthen our religion after we think about that God designed all of historical past with Jesus on the heart, with each third-day deliverance pointing on to him.
Risen and reigning, Jesus is supreme. However he is not going to be alone; he’s solely the firstfruits. And sometime, “figuratively speaking,” the third day is coming for us all. Do not forget that this Easter.