Key verses to be examined:
The Apostle Luke records the following:
Luke 24:46-47 “Then He said to them, ‘So it is written, and so the Messiah must suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day’”.
Also, please read the following scriptures where Y'shua is speaking about the third day:
Matt. 17:22-23, Matt. 20:18-19, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:33-34, Luke 9:22, Luke 18:31-33. Furthermore it is
re-quoted by the Apostle Shaul (Paul) in I Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered to you in the first place what I also received, that Messiah 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.”
In Addition, the significance of the third day is borne out in: Matt. 16:21, Matt. 27:64, Luke 24:7-8, and in Acts 10:40. In Luke 13:32 Yeshua is journeying toward Jerusalem and seems to be pointing out that on the third day, from when He was speaking, He would be perfected in Jerusalem, signifying that in Jerusalem He would face death, which brought about His perfection; for this was why He was sent; to be the Lamb of God.
The key point here is, “according to the Scriptures.” I would challenge for anyone to show me where there is a direct quote in the TeNaKh (Old Testament) that says that the Messiah would die and rise again on the third day. There isn’t one! So, what was Yeshua, the Apostle Shaul, and the writers of the Brit Hadashah (New Testament) referring to? They seemed to understand something that perhaps we don’t quite understand, and it has everything to do with “the third day.”
According to Hebraic understanding there are four levels of prophetic statements in the scriptures:
(1) Direct, specific statements; these are the easiest for us to grasp
(2) Prophecy by analogy- these are acts of Israel or God that typify the Messiah. An example would be
"Out of Egypt I called My Son" (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15)
(3) Prophecy by similarity-This would be following ancient events that are prophetically similar
to later events; for example--"A voice was heard in Ramah, ..."
(Jer 31:15; Matt 2:17-18)
(4) The concealed, deepest level of understanding which is only revealed by Yahweh.
In Hebrew these four levels are called: PaRDeS.
Pashat – the direct, literal meaning of scripture.
Remez – allegorical or hint level. The scripture or story is hinting at something more. An example would
be the stoning of Stephen.
Drash – hidden, secret or mysterious meaning of scripture or story. An example would be the parables.
Sod – secret or concealed level, the deepest level of understanding scriptures or stories. This “sod” level of understanding is given only to those who fear and obey Yahweh and seek after Him with all of their heart. This understanding is given only to those who Yahweh calls His own. A quick example would be
gematria; the understanding of Hebrew numbers.
This having been said, the “third day” could probably fall under the category of the Remez level, initially, as well as the Drash and Sod levels.
Let’s examine the significance of the third day in scripture and why it is so important for us to understand, especially in light of our Messiah and what He accomplished.
Whenever you are reading a story in scripture and you come across the term, “third day” you should automatically be led to understand that a restoration/deliverance or divine intervention has or is taking place. We will be examining many scriptures and stories in scripture to prove, beyond a doubt, this concept, and then we will see what Yeshua restored or delivered on the “third day”. To the best of my ability I have tried to include every scripture in the Word where the term third day occurs. For this study, and for time sake, there are some scriptures that I will not be giving much time too for the listed reasons:
Leviticus (7:17-18, Lev. 19:6-7) these scriptures refer to sacrifices not remaining until the third day. Anything remaining of the sacrifice was not to be eaten on the third day, but it was to be burned. This could signify that on the third day, a restoration was in order and no old food that could potentially cause sickness could be eaten. God wanted only the best for His priests, not three day old food.
Numbers 19:12, 19, 20 and Numbers 31:19 these scriptures refer to the cleansing process which was to begin on the third day; this was a deliverance and restoration within itself, from uncleanliness.
Numbers 7:24 this scripture only mentions the third day in regards to 12 days of sacrifices, each tribal leader making sacrifices before Yahweh. This is the only scripture that contains the phrase “third day” that doesn’t fit into the restoration or deliverance scenario; at least not one that quickly comes to my mind.
Joshua 9:17 – this scripture records how the children of Israel came into Gibeon and certain other cities, on this side of Jordan, on the third day. This was a deliverance of the promised land into their hands just as God had promised.
For more clarity, the entire story should be read instead of just the verses listed.
Genesis 22:4 Interesting that this should be the first