On the Third Day, Raised to Life

by John Kennedy on March 09, 2023

“They will kill him and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
                                                                                                                   —Matthew 17:23

Jesus’ announcement of His impending betrayal and death filled the disciples with grief. They heard the words “betrayed into the hands of men” and “they will kill him.” However, “on the third day he will be raised to life” probably did not register.

But this would be the sign of Jesus’ ultimate victory over sin. He suffered the death penalty for our sin—but death could not hold Him. Early on the first Easter Sunday morning, Jesus was resurrected. God rolled away the stone.

The tomb was empty, and when the women arrived just after dawn an angel announced to them, “He is risen!” Jesus later appeared in His resurrected body to the disciples and many others over a period of forty days.

But in today’s text, before any of this took place, Jesus was fully aware of the beatings, mocking, scourging, and death by crucifixion that awaited Him—but He was also assured of resurrection. He was going home, albeit via the cross. Jesus did not desire the ordeal that lay before Him, but He was obedient to His Father’s will. The resurrection of Jesus is God’s declaration that the sinless One defeated sin and death. The resurrection of Jesus is our guarantee that we, too, will be raised to new life.

Questions for reflection and discussion: The resurrection of Jesus is central to the Christian faith. Have you considered the historical evidence for the authenticity of the event? Do you ever ponder your own resurrection, which is promised to every believer?

Church Bible Reading Plan: Exodus 20; Luke 23

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