Luk_13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Luk_24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: Act_10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
The third day concept in the Bible is both a theme and an important reasoning of God in matters concerning His plans for Himself and us. If three days were given for death to hold and release Jesus, the question must arise in our hearts as to; “why three days”? The answer I believe will not be an easy one to understand. There are many concepts in the Bible that allude to a three day period in which things are done. Does it have something to do with the fact that God is a Triune God? Is it a period of time set by God in which to achieve things that otherwise cannot be achieved? Is it a grace period? The questions that arise are more than the answers. However, this concept remains an important one.
My personal experience with the third day concept has always been very powerful. Whenever, I have spoken about this in public meetings, I have had tremendous moves of God. What is it about this three days that is important to God? It is very intriguing. One thing that is clear about the three days is, they are holy days. They are to be maintained as such. Exo_19:11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. Exo_19:15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. When God wanted to manifest Himself to His people on Mt Sinai, He gave instructions that physical contact with wives in copulation must be avoided. The instruction was for purity to be maintained in His presence. This is an interesting concept to investigate. The God who gives us sexual intercourse also expects that we will conduct ourselves in a manner that is acceptable within His boundaries. God would know what the aberration (deviation) would mean in a spiritual sense and so, He has given us guidelines. Using this concept of not deviating from His guidelines, we need to understand that the three days were holy. The keeping of the three days instruction in obedience always produced dramatic results for those who obeyed.
When Joshua was instructed to cross the Jordan into The Promised Land, a similar instruction was given to prepare for three days before crossover. If we are to use typology, it would mean the same three days Jesus had to cross over into heaven and take up His rightful place. So, what was Jesus doing for three days before that? Eph_4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;Eph_4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) If we put these verses in this order, we see that Jesus descended into what we know to be hell known as the lower parts of the earth, where hell is situated. There He preached to the prisoners of hell. Why? To explain the gospel to those in heaven who had died before His time on earth and to those in hell, so that, they could be judged with understanding regarding the gospel that they did not have while they were alive on earth. 1Pe_4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
It is my understanding that a person is innocent until proven guilty. For this to happen, an indictment has to be brought against them and proven in a court of law. However, under the law, they may be held in prison or holding place till such time a court case is adjourned against them. Once guilt or righteousness is established after the court case has been argued and decided upon by the jury and judge, then, one can be rewarded (made free) or incarcerated (imprisoned) for their crimes. The heavenly pattern of Court is, God is the judge, Jesus the Advocate, the devil is the accuser and we are the defendants. Every soul must give account to God for their lives. The wages of sin is death. Sin causes you to die but you may not know why you died and went to heaven or hell. This is a serious matter of law in heaven. Now, the gospel is preached to all that they may know why they are in there.
Something took place in the three days, in heaven, on earth and in hell. This something had serious ramifications for all involved. It was to be a matter of life and death. By no means can anyone easily conclude what took place in three days but we know that Jesus rose on the third day bodily. He came back to His disciples and revealed Himself to them. That is how they knew He had come back as He had promised and as the scriptures had recorded that it would happen. It is important to note that the fulfilling of scriptures is critical in determining the outcomes of life. Judas betrayed Jesus to fulfil the scriptures. Jesus died and rose again according to the scriptures. So, the scriptures are infallible proofs of God’s ways, thoughts and outcomes for us.
At the end of the day, the concept of three days has power attached to it to achieve things. Gen_40:12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: Gen_40:19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee. Gen_42:17 And he put them all together into ward three days. 2Sa_24:13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. Mat_12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Joh_2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
I cannot emphasize the importance of scripture. It is the word of God and the correct interpretation and application will make it work for us. During these time periods, certain things may be determined for us by God like for Jesus. Jesus could not rise before three days because scripture would not have been fulfilled. This too is very important to understand. Sometimes, we want God to do something in the time period we dictate. He does it in His time. We have to understand this and bear the cross and be patient in understanding. There may be some tasks associated with waiting in this period that we have to undertake and so, we must not neglect attending to them. We may have to fast, definitely pray and certainly wait. This is not easy when the flesh gets involved. Yet, the rewards are great for those who discipline themselves according to God’s word.
In the last days just before God’s final judgement, there will be two witnesses who come to this earth and do great things to astound the unbelievers. They will be put to death at a given moment and something supernatural will happen to them after they have been dead and allowed to remain on the streets dead. Rev_11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. Rev_11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. This incredible miracle of God will have severe consequences on earth toward earthly beings who do not believe in Jesus. It is not a time to be on earth and so we must pray that we escape this horrible time. Luk 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Luk 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Since the concept of three days is very powerful, we must determine how best we can use it to benefit our relationship with God through the scriptures.
The number three appears right through the Bible and begins with God. God Himself is a Triune God who exists in perfect harmony and unity with each other and is able to act as One. Their functions may be different but they do not diminish in unity, power or deity. They do not disagree even in the slightest. This must encourage us to seek understanding about the number three and why it is so important in the scheme of things.
On the 3rd day of Christ’s death something stupendous was going to happen. Christ died in the flesh to shed his earthly body on the cross with sin and death attached to it, defeating them at the same time. This defeat of death in particular was going to be manifest in His bodily resurrection. Nothing could stop it because Jesus said; “I lay myself down and I raise myself up”. This is because He is God. This should answer our questions about Jesus as God. The resurrection of Jesus is being proven every time a person becomes born again. New life enters the otherwise dead person who was dead in trespasses and sin. Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly. This is the true meaning of His death and resurrection.
The three days are important in that, God chose to prove that death does not have a say in the matter no matter how long someone is dead. When Jesus was crucified, the graves of people long dead were opened and many rose up out of their graves and went and showed themselves in the city. Mat 27:51 And, 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; Mat 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, Mat 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. The anointing of the third day is a very powerful anointing. It is known as resurrection power. Let us try and understand its power in the light of scripture and what it is doing even today in the Universe. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Lots of love