In the third day he will raise us up. Hosea 6:2
Howard BarnettOn the morning of the third day the stone was rolled away and although Jesus had told his disciples that he would rise from the dead on the third day, his disciples had not been able to receive it. The substance of things hoped for had not touched them yet. The women who had arrived very early in the morning to find the empty tomb were perplexed, because the body was not there. Their encounter with the two angels that asked the question , ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead?’1, quickened their memory as to the words of the Lord. He had said, "Remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."2 Even when they became aware of the empty tomb, the disciples considered the words of the women "as idle tales, and they believed them not."3
Peter, after seeing the empty tomb for himself wondered what had come to pass. But Jesus knowing the heart of man, began revealing himself on this the third day. Two witnesses, one by the name of Cleopas, a name which means the whole glory, and the other, Simon, a name which means hearing with acceptance, met him in the way. He opened their understanding when they received the bread from his hands. They witnessed, "did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"4 The fire of God had touched their unbelief. They rose up and returned to Jerusalem to share the good news.
But the good news got even better. As they were sharing, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them. They were terrified, even though he had taken a form that they could recognize. He asked,"Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."5
He was not a spirit on this day, the third day. Though he had been in the spirit the preceding two days as he had delivered the captives that ‘were bound till this time.’6 Jesus reaffirmed at this time that "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."7 Jesus in this third day was showing the pattern of the promise spoken in the law, by the prophets and in the psalms, concerning his coming ministry.
In the law, "the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai."8 The shadow of the real was shown to Moses. There would be two days for cleansing before the Lord would appear in the sight of the people, the third day.
Jesus said, "Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."9 "The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."10 Jesus knew he was to bring "many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."11
Isaiah had prophesied of the last day "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."12
The psalms had stated "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory."13 The when and the where of the Lord’s appearing is written for the spiritual eye to see. He is coming in his temple!
The prophet, Hosea, spoke of the third day in this manner, "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."14
The former rain(a time of refreshing) and the latter rain are his coming. When Jesus, in the revelation, told John (the revelator) to "come up hither", John was already in the spirit. His raising up lifted him to a higher spiritual level. Not behind some moon of carnality. Hosea continued, "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me."15 Jesus’ covenant that ‘I will be in them and they shall be my people and I will be their God’, has been transgressed by many or most in this day. Their faith has been altered to see God, the Father, over yonder in the stars somewhere, sitting as a gray-haired man on a white throne. Jesus is, to their carnal mind, over yonder with him. And the Holy Ghost (to some he is Jesus’ brother), visits us from time to time. The Lord’s statement, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ has fallen on deaf ears. The ‘know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates’ is ignored. Many of those that claim his presence within, can only receive him by drinking grape juice and eating crackers. Their transgression has allowed the ‘spirit of error’ to enter their divided kingdoms. And because they confuse the spirit of exaltation with God’s joy, and witness natural signs and wonders (‘things floating out of the natural air’), they wave their arms and shout, ‘Here he is". The real elect have chosen to know better. They know the righteousness and peace and joy in the Lord’s spirit. They know the voice of the King and of another that they will not follow. They have their covenant within them, the true ark. They are cleansing themselves in the latter rain making ready for that spoken of by the prophet Zechariah, "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God."16
We are entering into the third day, if we know "that a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day."17 Many have and are experiencing the fire of God. We seek to be washed by the water of the word and cleansed by this fire of his presence. We know that it is prophesied that "when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."18
We will feel the fire as a wall around us. "For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her."19
"The fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is."20
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"21
He who hath an ear to hear, let him hear.
1 Luke 24:5
2 Luke 24:6-7
3 Luke 24:11
4 Luke 24:32
5 Luke 24:38-39
6 I Peter 3:19
7 Luke 24:44-46
8 Exodus 19:10-11
9 Luke 13:20-21
10 Luke 13:31-32
11 Hebrews 2:10
12 Isaiah 2:2-3
13 Psalm 102:16
14 Hosea 6:1-3
15 Hosea 6:6-7
16 Zechariah 13:8-9
17 II Peter 3:8
18 Isaiah 43:2
19 Zechariah 2:5
20 I Corinthians 3:13
21 I Peter 4:17