On The Third Day…

When Saint Paul wrote (quoting an early creedal statement of the Church), that Jesus “was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4), what scriptures were in mind? For that matter, when Jesus himself predicted his suffering, death, burial, and Resurrection “on the third day” (cf. Mark 8:31; Matthew 16:21; Luke 9:22), did he believe he would be fulfilling any particular passage? Dr. Craig Evans seems to think so.

In his book (co-authored with N.T. Wright) “Jesus: The Final Days”, Evans notes that Hosea 6 (which just happens to be the Old Testament Mass reading today) may be in the background here, especially verse 2: “He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up, to live in his presence” (RSV). Evans notes that the translation of this verse in the Aramaic Targum (which Jesus, as a native speaker of Aramaic, would have probably been quite familiar with) has a unique emphasis: “He will revive us in the days of consolations that will come; on the day of the resurrection of the dead he will raise us up and we shall live before him” (Aramaic differences italicized). As Evans puts it, “The coherence of Jesus’ words with the Aramaic tradition is striking” (p. 13). It is hard to escape the conclusion that Jesus not only predicted not only his death, but also his Resurrection, seeing both as fulfilling scripture.

1 reply
  1. Angeline
    Angeline says:

    Hi Cale
    Is it ok for me to copy the picture above for our leaflet on prayer to be distributed.

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