Latest Event Updates

Why Was Jesus Raised on the “Third Day”?

Posted on Updated on

On multiple occasions, Jesus clarified that his resurrection would be on “the third day” (see Matt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; also John 2:19). When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the gospel tradition, he said that Jesus was “raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4).

Paul taught that if you looked in “the Scriptures” (for Paul, the Old Testament), you would discern a “third day” expectation for Jesus’ deliverance. How does he conclude such a thing? And when Jesus spoke about his future resurrection, he said it “must” be on the third day (Matt. 16:21). Why must it be on that day and no other? Why the third day rather than the first or fourth? Why not death followed by resurrection a few hours later?

The expectation of Third Day Deliverance was probably not linked to only one Old Testament text but to an overall pattern of incredible third-day events. For instance:

  • Isaac was delivered from being sacrificed on the “third day” (Gen. 22:9)
  • Joseph released his brothers on the third day (Gen. 42:17-18)
  • God came down to meet Moses on Mount Sinai on the “third day” (Exod. 19:11)
  • When Joshua rallied the people to enter the promised land, he said the conquest would begin in “three days” (Josh. 1:11; 3:2)
  • After Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days, he was delivered (Jonah 1:17)
  • In Hosea, the people said, “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up” (Hos. 6:2)
  • Hezekiah, the king of Judah, was healed from his sickness on the third day (2 Kgs. 20:5-6)
  • Esther successfully interceded for the Jews on the “third day” (Esth. 4:16)

There are more examples that could be cited, but the above events establish the point that some major Old Testament stories were specifically associated with “three days” or on the “third day.” In fact, there are multiple examples of Third Day Deliverance stories where a character is delivered from sickness or death!

The resurrection of Jesus was the ultimate biblical example of a Third Day Deliverance.

See an excellent article by Stephen Dempster titled “From Slight Peg to Cornerstone to Capstone: The Resurrection of Christ on ‘The Third Day’ According to the Scriptures” (Westminster Theological Journal 76.2 [2014]: 371-410). And Jim Hamilton has traced a cluster of third-day passages on his blog.

“My Son, Arise”–A Poem for Easter Sunday

Posted on Updated on

“My Son, Arise”
Easter Sunday
April 5, 2015

The lungs had not inhaled a breath
Since He had closed His eyes in death.

Now covered by the sealing stone,
The Nazarene lay there alone.

Then when two nights had fully passed,
The third day morning came at last.

The Father said, “My son, arise!”
And Jesus opened up His eyes.

The new creation had begun,
For curse and death were now undone.

“Silent, Still, and Cold”–A Poem for Saturday of Passion Week

Posted on

Originally posted on Unto Him:

On Saturday, the tomb was occupied with the crucified and dead body of Jesus the Nazarene. I wrote the following poetic reflection two years ago, but I’m including it in this week’s poetic Passion posts.

“Silent, Still, and Cold”
April 19, 2014 (first written April 7, 2012)
Saturday of Passion Week

On Saturday his body lay
Silent, still, and cold,
Entombed for one more night before
The stone began to roll.

Darkness seemed to triumph while
God the Son lay dead,
But in the morn his hands would pull
The cloth from ’round his head.

Disciples, now consumed with fear,
Did mourn their master’s death.
Yet joy would rise with Sunday’s sun
And new creation’s breath.

For one more night all hope seemed lost
As death claimed the last word,
But this second day would end with
Resurrection on the third.

View original

“A River Flowed”–A Poem for Friday of Passion Week

Posted on

Originally posted on Unto Him:

On Good Friday of Passion Week, Jesus died on the cross. Last year I wrote a poem about the cross, and I’m including it among the Passion Week poems I’ve been posting this year.

“A River Flowed”
April 18, 2014 (first written March 29, 2013)
Friday of Passion Week 

A river flowed, a crimson tide,
With mercy in its stream,
As Jesus Christ was crucified
By God through human scheme.

The sin he bore was not his own,
For ours he carried to
The wooden cross, the judgment tree,
To pay the wages due.

Hear him cry out “It is finished”
With his final breath,
For with this love he satisfied
God’s wrath and died our death.

View original

“See Him”–A Poem for Thursday of Passion Week

Posted on

Originally posted on Unto Him:

On Thursday of Passion Week, Jesus ate the last supper with his disciples, prophesied that they would scatter because of him, and prayed in Gethsemane with a soul full of sorrow. This is a poetic reflection on those events.

“See Him”
April 17, 2014
Thursday of Passion Week

See him in the upper room
With all of them together.
So much to say, so much to pray,
Before the night is over.

See him break the bread and say,
“My body, take and eat.”
Then the cup, raised up: “My blood
Poured out for you—now drink.”

See him warn them, “This night you
Will fall away and flee.”
Then Peter, louder than the rest,
Says, “Everyone but me.”

See him at Gethsemane
As he kneels to speak,
With sorrow in his holy soul
And friends whose flesh is weak.

See him fall upon his face:
“O Father let this…

View original 15 more words

“Thirty Silver Pieces”–A Poem for Wednesday of Passion Week

Posted on

Originally posted on Unto Him:

Today is Wednesday, and we remember several events that occurred on that day during Passion Week. Particularly important was the agreement of Judas to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This poem reflects on that agreement.

“Thirty Silver Pieces”
April 16, 2014
Wednesday of Passion Week

The chief priests and elders gathered together
To plot how they might arrest and kill Jesus,
For two days away was the start of Passover,
But no plan was certain until they saw Judas.

Into the palace of Caiaphas came
One of the Twelve in sinister stride,
And though Judas seemed to come in alone,
Satan himself was dwelling inside.

“What will you give me if I would betray him?”
They said, “You like silver? How ’bout thirty pieces?”
Then Judas agreed and gathered the sum
And looked for a time to turn over Jesus.

 

View original

“A Temple Left Undone”

Posted on

Today is Tuesday of Passion Week, and on this day Jesus spoke parables and taught many things to his disciples and any crowds that gathered (see Matt 21-25). Included in this teaching was the famous Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.

“A Temple Left Undone”
March 31, 2015
Tuesday of Passion Week

Jesus pointed to the stones
And said of them, “Each one
Of these shall be upon the ground,
A temple left undone.”

Then on the Mount of Olives, he
Disclosed the coming years
Of wars and quakes and many fakes
Until the Son appears.

None shall know the day or time
When comes the Son to take
The ones not ready for the Thief,
So therefore: stay awake.