Fifth article: and the third day He rose again from death - 15 February 2018

Hennie Symington

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5-6

Christ arose on the third day following “Good Friday” and “Silent Saturday”, the second day. On the third day, referred to as “Easter Sunday”, he arose. This is not a vague speculation, but a fact of faith. All the Gospels confirm that the empty grave was discovered on the first day of the week i.e. early Sunday Morning. (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1,2; Luke 24:1). Why is it so important to establish this fact? To confirm clearly and without doubt that Jesus arose at a specific moment in history. Like his birth and crucifixion, it can be linked to time and place. Matthew 20:19b confirms that the Son of man will remain buried for three days. On the third day which was Sunday he will rise from the dead.

This is the crucial juncture at which Christian belief either stands or falls. If we do not believe that he arose from the dead, then what we believe is foolishness. Believing in Christ and the forgiveness of sin is not just a philosophy, but a reality confirmed by Christ’s death and his rising from the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15:14Paul talks about the uselessness of our faith without the resurrection. Jesus arose physically, not as some sort of a ghost. His disciples could touch him, and he could eat (it was believed the ghosts could not eat).

By breaking the power of death, Christ opens eternity to us. When confronted with Christ’s journey through death, we begin to realise that Christ journeyed through death for no other reason than to breathe new life into our dying souls. Now we too have the option of rising from death to a new life – every day! We read in Romans 6:4: “Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead … so we too might walk in newness.”

Prayer: Thank you Christ, that through your death you opened eternity to me and all of mankind. Let us not reduce your suffering and death to a mere incident in history, but honour it by living a life worthy of your great sacrifice. Amen

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