Saturday, March 26, 2022

Another Third Day

Bobservations Column

Pastor Bob Lawrenz

There has long been a debate about the Resurrection occurring three days after Jesus was Crucified. As mentioned previously, was it a full three days and nights? Was it a full three nights and days? (There is a difference.) Is it after three days, or is it “on the third day?”

Regardless of how the three days are measured, the time frame has been the subject of debate, and that ignores the overriding importance of Jesus being Crucified and Raised Up later.

The Apostles and many Disciples had witnessed Jesus doing the impossible for three years; the deaf hearing, the dumb speaking, the blind seeing, the lame walking, the dead being raised up, fish and loaves being multiplied before their eyes... they all witnessed Jesus’ power over the physical world.

And it was just a week or two before His own Resurrection that Jesus raised up Lazarus from the dead. And to assure the people of His power over life and death, Jesus delayed His arrival at the grave, a small cave covered by a stone in which Lazarus was laid. And once there, Jesus said “take away the stone.”

Always the practical one, Lazarus’ sister Martha was set to argue with Jesus: “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

This is what Jesus always deals with, even among His closest followers: doubt, second-guessing Him, and simple unbelief. Then He prayed aloud for all nearby to hear. “And I know that Thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I (spoke) it, that they might believe that Thou hast sent me.” (John 11:40-44 for the entire passage.). There was unbelief among His faithful followers, and closest friends.

Jesus wants to stir up our faith that we might believe that He is capable of anything and has power over all things. While Martha is sure that her brother is cold, dead, and biodegrading, Jesus wants her faith stirred up to believe in the Power of God imbued in Him.

Jesus has the power and authority to raise Himself up on the third day, after three days, or like Lazarus, four days after He died. When is not the issue. That Jesus overcame death is the power of God in Him.

As Jesus speaks of the bread and the wine being His body and blood, He speaks it while yet in His living body-and-blood-flesh.
Luke 1:37 – “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Today's Audio Message:
Exodus 19:1-25 - "Another Third Day"


While our study is from the nineteenth chapter of Exodus today, it is truly amazing how the gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly and repeatedly foreshadowed throughout the Exodus story. It begins with God making a promise to elect a people as his own. His people are then taken into slavery and ruled by a godless and cruel lord (foreshadowing Satan/sin). Unable to save themselves, God himself intervenes to redeem them from slavery and deliver them into freedom to worship him alone by his miraculous hand (foreshadowing Jesus’ death and resurrection). After taking his people out of Egypt, God’s work with his people continues as he then seeks to get Egypt out of his people (foreshadowing sanctification and purification). Resisting God’s continuing attempt to lead his people as he desires, the people grumble against Moses and long to go back to Egypt (foreshadowing the believers’ wrestling with their flesh).

But, God’s faithfulness persists and he continues to lead his people and provide for their needs out of his love, as he leads them on a journey to a land of rest and promise (foreshadowing heaven). God’s interaction with his people is clearly that of a living God who speaks, acts, loves, declares his laws, judges sin, delivers, redeems, provides, and is present with them. The central picture of the gospel in Exodus is one of redemption, as seen in Exodus 6:6, “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:” and Exodus 15:13a, “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed…”

As we look at Exodus 19, we see the grace of God in redemption gives us the background and the framework whereby we can understand the use and the function of His law. His law is not the way in which His people are saved. His law is not a means which He gives to them whereby they may save themselves. It is the expression for how a people, conformed and transformed into the image of God by His grace, ought to live in gratitude for His redemption. Understanding Exodus 19 helps to understand Exodus chapter 20. This law is given in the context of a redemptive relationship in which God is willing to share great and undeserved blessings with His people.

Exodus chapter 19 also makes it clear that what is about to happen at Sinai is another covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, or the Covenant of God’s Law. God is entering into an explicit, open covenant relationship with an entire nation, and He will ratify His promises to them in this covenant. God’s purpose was for Israel to be a peculiar treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5,6). As believers we belong to Him, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. As He is Holy, He calls us to be a holy nation, set apart and devoted to Him. 1 peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

In verses 14 and 15 of Exodus chapter 19 there is a stress on the people preparing themselves for this covenant. They are to consecrate themselves to the Lord and prepare to come before Him. It is a serious thing to meet with God. So Moses gives the command for them to consecrate themselves in preparation for meeting with God and when we get to Exodus chapter 19, verses 16 to the end, finally the encounter with God comes. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God…”As Moses was the Mediator of the Old Covenant, Jesus Christ is the one and only Mediator between God in men in the New. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” - 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8.

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