“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day.'” Luke 24:45-46 (NASB)
Jesus emphasized that His death and resurrection were a part of a plan; this was something that had to happen. A suffering messiah had not been easy for the disciples to accept (Matthew 16:21-22). This is why so many failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, and why many saw the cross as a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 1:23).
Jesus specifically mentioned the prophecies of the resurrection on “the third day.” This has troubled some students of the Bible, because they cannot account for three full days in the Scriptural record. But in the normal speech of that time, a span of “three days” could cover any portion of those days. Jesus was crucified on Friday; therefore, He spent part of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday in the tomb. This expression would have made perfect sense to the disciples.
In order to release you and me from the condemnation of our sin, God was willing that Jesus surrender His morally perfect life to a cruel death on the cross. Our spiritual need was a greater priority than Jesus’ personal comfort. We may conclude that, at least in some cases, suffering accomplishes some higher purpose. There are times when the welfare of others, or even our own character development, requires that we suffer. In every case we are promised that God can redeem some good even out of extreme adversity.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)
February 22, 2014