Today's Foundations Devotional: On the third day He will raise us up
After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that
we may live in His sight.
From the passages we have considered the last couple of days, we see that the theme of the resurrection runs like a thread all through the Old Testament. The details of this revelation become progressively clearer until in Daniel we are told that the resurrection will be closely associated with the period of the great tribulation and that it will occur in two distinct phases: one for the righteous and one for the wicked.
Before we close this study of Old Testament prophecies of the resurrection, there is one further point of great interest and importance which needs to be established.
In the passage already quoted from 1 Corinthians 15:4, Paul says that Christ “rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” Not merely was the resurrection of Christ foretold in the Old Testament, but it was even foretold that Christ would rise from the dead the third day. We may ask: Where in the Old Testament can we find this specific prophecy that Christ would rise again on the third day? Hosea provides the answer.
Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is stablished as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth (6:1-3).
This prophecy commences with a promise of forgiveness and healing to those who will return to the Lord in repentance and faith. Then, in the second verse, comes the clear prediction of the resurrection on the third day: “On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight” (Hos. 6:2). This promise is given in the plural, not the singular: “He will raise us up ... we may live in His sight.” That is to say, the promise refers not only to the resurrection of Christ but also includes all those who obey the exhortation to return to God in repentance and faith.
In order to understand the full implications of this prophecy, we must turn to the complete revelation of the gospel as given by God to the church through Paul in the New Testament.
In Romans 6:6 Paul says:
Our old man was crucified with Him [that is, with Christ].
Again, in Galatians 2:20 he says:
I have been crucified with Christ.
These and other similar passages reveal that in making atonement for man’s sin, Christ deliberately made Himself one with the sinner: He took the sinner’s guilt. He made Himself one with the sinner’s corrupt and fallen nature. He died the sinner’s death. He paid the sinner’s penalty.
Thereafter, it remains for us as sinners to accept by faith our identification with Christ. When we do this, we find that we are identified with Him not only in His death and burial, but also in His resurrection from the dead and in the new, immortal resurrection life which He now enjoys.
O Lord Jesus, reading all of this, it is almost impossible to understand
that You, on that cross, have literally undergone my death penalty,
so that through Your wonderful, almost incomprehensible sacrifice, I
can enter Your full life and from that wonderful position, spiritually
alive, may honour your unsurpassed name. Amen.