The phrase ‘three days’ occurs 75 times in the bible. When the number three is used in the Bible, this is symbolic of completeness. However, three can also be used as an emphatic Semitic triplet to describe the intensity of something. The verse below is from an Old Testament prophet who points to Jesus’ death and resurrection on the third day.
Come and let us return to the Lord, for He has torn so that He may heal us; He has stricken so that He may bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us (quicken us, give us life); on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him, Hosea 6:1-2.
Meanwhile, the apostle Paul explains the spiritual impact of Jesus’ resurrection on that first Easter Sunday. Like taunting death, Paul does some spiritual trash talking in the passage below. The sting of physical death was swallowed up by the supernatural resurrection by Jesus. To avoid critics saying Jesus’ wasn’t really dead, three days was plenty of time to guarantee this wasn’t a hoax, Matthew 28:11-15.
And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished [h]forever) in and unto victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? 56 Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [i][upon the soul] through [j][the abuse of] the Law. 57 But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.
The apostle Paul builds upon this concept in his letter to the Church at Colosse. Colossians 3:1-4 explains how the resurrection of Jesus can transform Christians from within. Unfortunate, putting to death the addictions, bad habits and cravings of your past takes more than three days. Rather, this process takes a lifetime, a spiritual marathon where you throw off what’s dragging you down in prayer, Hebrews 12:1-2.
by Jay Mankus