"Then Sunday Came..."
"But we were
hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed,
besides all this, today is the third day since these things
happened." Luke 24:21.
enemies of Jesus His death on the cross was the greatest victory
in history. The Prince of Life was dead and His cold body
lay in the grave.
For the devoted followers of Jesus Christ His death on
the cross was the most frustrating tragedy of history. "...They
mourned and wept." Mark 16:10. Mary of Magdala
was the first to the tomb and found it empty. She ran to
tell the disciples and met Peter. Grief and anxiety can be
felt in her words, "They have taken away the Lord out of the
tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." John
20:2. The other women rendezvoused, but it wasn't for the
purpose of meeting the resurrected Christ. It was to
lovingly embalm His body for the long sleep of death (Luke
For Three Days The Truth
About Jesus Hung In Doubt
The Prophecies of His
Resurrection Remained Unfulfilled.
Job is the oldest book in
the Bible. It reveals the faith Job had in both
his resurrection and that of his Redeemer. He raised the
question, "If a man dies, will he live again?
He answered his own question, "All the days of
my hard service I will wait, Till my change come."
Job 14: 14. (Job's body has been waiting 4000
years). He then spoke his faith, "For I know that my
Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth."
Job 19:25. Job was stating that after his Redeemer paid the
redemption price (death for Job's sins) He would rise again and
later stand upon the earth.
David prophesied the
resurrection of Jesus.
"For You will not leave my soul in
Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption."
Psalm 16:10. But for three days the soul of Jesus
remained in Paradise, a compartment of Sheol and His body remained
in Joseph's tomb.
Jesus prophesied His resurrection,
"Destroy this temple,
and in three days I will raise it up." John 2:19. Those
who conspired to put Him to death knew what He meant.
"Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver
said, 'After three days I will rise.'" Matthew 27:63
And so, the seal of the Roman empire was affixed to the stone
covering the door of His tomb and a contingent of Roman guards
stood watch. (Matthew 27:64-66).
Jesus had stated boldly,
"Therefore My Father loves Me,
because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one
takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power
to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." John
Jesus plainly told His twelve disciples of His coming death and
Matthew describes the first time with
these words, "From that time Jesus began to show to His
disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from
the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be
raised the third day." Matthew 16:21. See also
Mark 9:9, Matthew 12:40, and Matthew 20:18, 19.
Yet, for three days the prophecies of Jesus' resurrection
The Claims That Jesus Was The
Son of God Were Unsubstantiated.
On occasion Jesus referred to
Himself as "the Son of God"
"He who believes in Him is not
condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten
Son of God." John 3:18.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming,
and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of
God; and those who hear will live." John 5:25
"Do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and
sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming' because I said 'I am
the Son of God'?" John 10:36.
"When Jesus heard that, He said 'This sickness is
not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God
may be glorified through it.'" John 11:4
It is well to remember that after 3 religious trials
and 3 civil trials the only count by which Jesus was convicted was
that He affirmed the high priest's statement that He was the Son
of God. "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?'
Jesus said, 'I am"...'What further need do we have of witnesses?
'...And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.'" Mark
14:61 - 64.
three days the physical body of the Son of God lay dead like any
other man who dies.
The Hopes of God's Promised
Kingdom Lay In Ruins
orthodox Israelite believed in a coming kingdom ruled over by a
descendant of David. The great crowds that followed Jesus in
Galilee were so convinced He was the long promised king that they
tried to take Him by force and make Him the king. (John 6:15).
At the Triumphal Entry, Jesus was hailed as the long promised
It appears the reason the disciples never "heard" the
statements of Jesus about His death, burial, and resurrection is
because they were engaged in heated arguments as to which one
would be greatest in the kingdom of God.
Yet, for three days the only crown Jesus wore was a
crown of thorns.
There Was No Salvation For Lost Mankind
The Emmaeus disciple
lamented, "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to
redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third
day since these things happened." Luke 24:21.
Paul wrote, "And if Christ is not risen, then our
preaching is empty and your faith is also empty..."
"And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile, you are still
in your sins!" 1st Corinthians 14:14, 17.
This seems to be one of the most difficult truths for
mankind to see. All religions devised by man are a system of
salvation by works. Much of so-called Christian Religions
are a system of salvation by works. The idea is that if you are
good enough God will take you into heaven, but if you have done
enough bad things you miss the cut and God sends you to hell.
The problem is that no human has ever been, or ever
will be good enough to satisfy God's righteousness and justice.
The ten commandments are the perfectly just expression of
the perfectly just nature of God. Jesus gave some idea of
how holy and righteous God's law is. We don't have to have a
sexual relationship with someone other than our wife or husband to
be guilty of adultery. When a man looks upon a woman with
lust he has committed adultery in God's eyes. If we are
angry with someone without a cause we are guilty of murder before
What Has God Revealed?
"There is none righteous, no, not
one;"..."Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be
justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Romans 3:10b, 11, 20. But even His sacrificial death for
our sins is not enough. Jesus said, "No one comes to the
Father except through Me." John 14:6. A dead
Christ in the grave cannot save anyone.
The Three Elements of God's Saving Gospel
Stated by Paul "For I delivered to you first of all that
which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to
the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the
third day according to the Scriptures." 1st
Corinthians 14:3, 4.
But for three days there was no resurrected, living
Christ to save lost sinners from their sins.
Then Sunday Came...
Early Sunday morning
the earth shook and the stone covering the door of Jesus' tomb was
flung away. The first ones there found an empty tomb.
Other visitors were confronted by an Angel.
"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here,
but is risen..." Luke 24: 5b, 6. A steady stream
of His disciples came and looked inside at an empty tomb and the
Roman guard did not lift a hand to restrain them.
Before long various disciples began to share their
Mary Magdalene was first. She reported "I have
seen the Lord" John 20:18. Next came the
women who went to embalm Him, "Rejoice!...Do not be afraid.
Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see
Me." Matthew 28:9, 10. At some point Jesus
appeared to Peter. (Luke 24:34). and then the
made the two mile trip back to Jerusalem and said, "He walked
with us and talked with us and ate with us and taught us and
Ten disciples met that night in the upper
room. Jesus suddenly appeared with the words, "Peace be
with you". He showed them the prints in His hands, feet
and side. (John 20:19-22.)
On the second Sunday evening Jesus met with the eleven
disciples. This included Thomas who had declared "Unless
I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into
the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not
believe." Jesus invited Thomas to do so, but he fell on
his face and said, "My Lord and my God!". This would be his
message for the rest of His life. John 20:25-28.
Jesus met with seven disciples beside Galilee.
Five are named: Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James and John.
Peter would testify from that night, "He taught me that my
first responsibility is to love Him and my second responsibility
is to feed His sheep." John 21.
At some point Jesus appeared to 500 disciples at one
time on a mountain in Galilee. Years later Paul would write
that most of them were still alive and testifying, "I was one
of the 500 that saw Him and heard Him in Galilee after His
resurrection." (Matthew 28:16-20; 1st Corinthians 15:6.)
There were 120 disciples who testified, "We were
with Him on the Mount of Olives and saw Him ascend back to
heaven." (Acts 1:9-11).
In time Paul would testify, "In my spiritually
blinded condition I persecuted the church of God but I met Him on
the Damascus road and from that moment He became the undisputed
Lord of my life."
Yes, on the third day the
prophecies of His resurrection were fulfilled. Jesus' claims
that He was the Son of God were substantiated. The hopes of
the Kingdom of God were revived. Salvation was complete and
The question that
remains is: "What will we do with Jesus?" Will we
reject Him as most of the nation of Israel, or will we receive Him
by faith as millions of lost sinners have done? They, too
have testified, "You ask me how I know He lives. He lives
within my heart."
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from the NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.