Friday, December 1, 2017

Prophecy of Christ's Suffering, Death, and Resurrection on the Third Day

After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples in a room where they had met together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. He spoke to them and explained that what had happened to Him in his crucifixion and resurrection was a fulfillment of all the things written about Him in the Scriptures.

"Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.'" (Luk 24:44-48)

In this passage, Jesus summarized very concisely all the key things that were written about Him throughout Scripture, which had just been fulfilled during the previous three days. I'd like to focus on the part where He said, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day." In other words, Scripture had foretold that He would suffer, die, and rise again on the third day. Where does it say that in Scripture?

There are many places where it speaks of the sufferings of Christ. There are all the sacrifices called for in the Law that prefigure Christ's sufferings, especially the paschal lamb. And one passage in particular is Isaiah 53, which I recommend you read in its entirety. It says in part:

"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors." (Isa 53:4-12)

That prophecy speaks of both His suffering and His resurrection. He bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, was stricken, smitten by God, oppressed, afflicted, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, chastened for our well-being, and scourged so that we may be healed. That spoke of His suffering.

Isaiah clearly prophesied His death when he spoke of the Lord's Servant as a lamb led to the slaughter (Is 53:7), who "poured out His life unto death" (Is 53:12), and was "cut off from the land of the living for the people's transgression" (Is 52:8). Isaiah spoke of His death and His grave. He specifically prophesied with accuracy that the Servant would be with the wicked in His death (Is 53:9), which we know from history that the Lord was crucified between two criminals. The prophet spoke of the Servant being with a rich man in His death (Is 53:9), which we know was fulfilled by the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea burying the Lord in his own tomb cut out of rock.

The prophet also made a clear reference to the Servant's resurrection from the dead as well, when he said that He would see His offspring, prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord would prosper in His hand. He would ultimately see the light of life and be satisfied after the anguish of His soul was completed, and in the end He would be given a portion with the great, dividing the booty with the strong (Is 53:10-12).

While the prophet spoke of the Servant's resurrection, he did not say it would be on the third day. In fact, there seems to be no Scripture that explicitly says He will rise again on the third day. However, there is a cryptic reference to His resurrection on the third day, which is hidden in one of the prophets. In Hosea we read:

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hos 6:1-3, NIV)

In this passage, the prophet speaks in the first person plural (ie., "us" and "we"), which pertained to Israel at that time, but it is also a double reference to Christ. He prophesied that the Lord would tear Him (Christ) to pieces and He would be injured, that the Lord would heal Him and bind up His wounds, that the Lord would "revive" Him after two days, and that He would be "restored to life" on the third day.  The Hebrew word for "revive" means to give life, let live, recover, revive, or save. And the Hebrew word for "restored to life" means to "rise again", so the prophet said He would rise again on the third day! This is the Scripture Jesus was referring to when He said it was written that He must rise again on the third day. Hosea spoke further of His resurrection by saying, "As surely as the sun rises, He will appear." (Hos 6:3, NIV).

Another one of the prophets named Malachi also alluded to the sun rising when he prophesied regarding Christ: "But for you who revere my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its rays." (Mal 4:2, NIV). Also see Light of the World.

Moreover, Jesus said that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish (Mt 12:40). In saying so, He indicated that Jonah was a type of Christ, which means that Jonah's three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish was a prophetic even foreshadowing the suffering and death of Christ, followed by His resurrection on the third day. Also see Jonah as a Type of Christ.

Repentance for Forgiveness of Sins
Jesus told His disciples that the Scriptures said repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name (Lk 24:47). The Scripture speaks a lot about the need for repentance. For example, in this very same passage in Hosea, it says, "Come let us return to the Lord." The Hebrew word for "return" is "shub" meaning to turn back again, and it is often used to refer to repentance. I have covered this in more detail in my article, Repentance That Leads to Life. The nation of Israel had been unfaithful to God and was unrepentant. For the people had dealt treacherously with God, but the prophet was calling the nation to repentance.

Ezekiel also prophesied, "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live." (Eze 18:32)

The passage in Isaiah 53 says, "By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities." This means that by knowing the Lord's righteous Servant Jesus, many will be justified, since He Himself bore our iniquities.

Hosea also spoke of knowing the Lord in the passage from the sixth chapter that I have cited above. He said, "Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him." (Hos 6:3, NIV). In the NASB, it says, "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD."

Therefore, when we put these passages together with others from the Hebrew Scriptures, we find that by repenting and knowing Jesus, men receive justification and forgiveness of sins from God. 

The psalmist also wrote, "Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against him."

Preached to All Nations
Jesus said the Scriptures prophesied that this gospel would be preached to all nations, when He said to His disciples that it "would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations" (Lk 24:47). Again, there are many Scriptures that say this. But just a couple will suffice to prove my point.

"Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD!" (Psa 117:1-2)

"Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; For You will judge the peoples with uprightness And guide the nations on the earth. Selah." (Psa 67:3-4)

All the peoples of the earth and all the nations praise the Lord, because they have received forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith in Christ.

"God blesses us, That all the ends of the earth may fear Him." (Psa 67:7).

Jehovah spoke to His Servant Yeshua (Jesus) in this passage from Isaiah that says: "I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations." (Isa 42:6)

In Isaiah again He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth." (Isa 49:6)

Glory to God!

As you can clearly see from Scripture, all of the things that happened to Jesus were prophesied hundreds of years in advance, right down to the minute details, including that he would suffer, die, rise again on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all nations. That proves that He is the Son of God.

If you don't know Jesus yet, today is the day of salvation; now is the time of God's favor. Jesus is coming back soon to judge the world and take vengeance on the enemies of God, so don't wait or else it may be too late.

The Lord does not take pleasure in your perishing. Therefore, repent and live. As Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Ac 2:38, NIV). 

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Other Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible NIV where noted.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Is Jesus God?The Amazing Sign of Jonah, Supremacy of ChristRepentance That Leads to LifeOngoing Earthly Ministry of Jesus, The Son of Man, and Christ's Two Ascensions. You may also access the Main Directory for this blog, or my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.