Last time we began looking into ancient Judaism to see what the prevailing view of the resurrection was. Of course, just like Christianity that has lots of denominations, Judaism also had different branches with different theological viewpoints. For example, the branch of the Sadducees, which were very powerful in Jesus lifetime, didn’t believe in the resurrection at all. The Pharisees were the exact opposite in that they were vigorous supporters of the resurrection of the dead, as did the Scribes even though they were especially known to be experts in the legal interpretations of the Law. There are no Sadducees today, although it’s believed that the Pharisee viewpoint continues among religious and orthodox Jewish communities to varying degrees.
Last time we learned about the Gabriel Stone that was discovered in Israel that has the words ‘In three days live’ within its text and this has caused quite a stir because it could very well mean that the prevailing view in ancient Judaism, agreed with a Messiah who would rise from the dead on the third day. That’s what we want to really focus on this time.
We looked at two ‘types’ or ‘symbolic’ stories or events in the Bible that seem to have a three days of death followed by a resurrection; Jonah being resurrected after three days and nights in the belly of the great fish and Esther’s resurrection after three days and nights of fasting, and literally taking her life into her hands, risking execution by going before the king unsummoned.
One of the interesting things about the Bible is reoccurring themes, you see them in things like sevens. Sevens is a theme throughout the entire Bible, Old and New Covenant. The theme of younger sons ruling over older sons, again, that wasn’t the norm in any culture, even Jewish culture, but when it came to God fulfilling His plans, the theme of younger sons gaining elevation over older sons is a theme. The theme of the third day is another theme.
- When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mt Moriah, Abraham immediately obeyed, and on the third day, Abraham saw the place of sacrifice in the distance. (Gen 22:4)
- When God gave the Law on Mt Sinai, He did so on the third day. (Exo 19:11)
- It wasn’t until the third day that Laban found out that Jacob, his wives and children had all left to return to their homeland. (Gen 31:22)
- On the third day after Joseph interpreted the dreams of the royal baker and cupbearer, that Pharaoh restored the cup bearer and executed the baker. (Gen 40:20)
- God commanded the Israelites to consecrate themselves before the giving of the Law, and they were to stand before the mountain, and on the third day, God’s presence came down in the morning with thunder and lightning flashes and thick cloud, and a very loud trumpet sound. (Exo 19:16)
There are purification laws for the third day, laws about left over sacrificial offerings on the third day, so the ‘third day’ theme is quite prevalent.
Hosea 6:1-3 says, “Come, let’s return to the Lord. For He’s torn us, but He’ll heal us; He’s wounded us, but He’ll bandage us. He’ll revive us after two days; He’ll raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, lets press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He’ll come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”
That’s amazing, it’s talking about the Lord tearing and destroying His people, wounding them, healing them, caring for them, reviving them and raising them up on the third day so they can live before Him. WOW!
There are other verses about the resurrection as well.
Job 19:25, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He’ll take His stand on the earth.”
Ezekiel 37, too long for now, but it’s the vision of the valley of dry bones, and the prophet speaks life over them and God resurrects the whole house of Israel until they become an exceedingly great army.
Psalm 16:10 speaks specifically of Mashiach, “For You won’t abandon My soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”
Everywhere Paul travelled, the first place he’d go was to the synagogue where he’d reason with the local Jewish community from the Scriptures…the Old Covenant…about how the Messiah had to suffer and die and then rise from the dead. (Acts 17:1-4)
Listen to what Paul said to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8, I’m just going to read verses 3-4 which says, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
Whether the Judaism today likes or recognises it, the resurrection of the Messiah, specifically after three days, is Biblically sound and legitimate and one day, their eyes will be opened and their heart will see and understand that Yeshua is their Mashiach ben Yosef, and soon to come, Mashiach ben Da’vid.