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on the third day according to the Scriptures

At home group on Wednesday someone asked about why Jesus rose on the third day. And then on the train today I was listening to Jim Hamilton. First some Biblical Theology / Typology that connects up the Books of Samuel (which I'm loving reading at the moment) with Jesus:

[In David's rise to power we see the ] king who would be anointed, who would save God’s people, and who would restrain their evil. This king would be something of a surprise—he would come in an unexpected way, and he would be opposed by the establishment. He would follow in the footsteps of those “of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb 11:38). This coming king might be expected to take responsibility for wrongs done by others, be betrayed by those whom he had blessed, and refuse to lift his hand to defend himself but rather entrust himself to God, who judges justly. This king would almost certainly be expected to crush the head of the serpent, and in so doing he would have his heel struck. And something remarkable might be expected to happen “on the third day,” [for David: see the end of 1 Sam and start of 2 Sam] after which, like not only David but all the righteous kings of Israel, he would seek to build the temple.
James Hamilton, The typology of David's rise to power, MP3.

- listening to this somewhere between Taunton and Reading this morning on the train I found myself beaming at the scale of God's salvation plans! A mystery once hidden and now revealed... and simultaneously foretold in the Scriptures.

And then add a dash of Reevesian attention to detail by following of language through the Old Testament. This doesn't always go anywhere, but in the case of third day it does...

Nor are these the only two significant “third days” in the Old Testament: Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac “on the third day” (Gen 22:4). Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai to meet Israel “on the third day” (Exod 19:11, 16). The Lord raised up Hezekiah “on the third day” (2 Kgs 20:5). The second temple was completed “on the third day” (Ezra 6:15). Esther interceded on behalf of the Jewish people “on the third day” (Esth 5:1). And perhaps most significantly, Jonah was in the belly of the whale “three days and three nights” (Jon 2:1 [ET 1:17]), while Hosea prophesied that the people, having been torn by Yahweh as by a lion (Hos 5:14–6:1), would be raised up “on the third day”

(See Matthew Henry on: Hosea 6:2)

Big stuff happens on the third day. And that's before you connect the third day of Genesis 1 with 1 Corinthians 15 and Jesus the first-fruits / seed...

As Hamilton notes from NT Wright, it's not so much that Paul is proof-texting or thinking of one particular reference that the resurrection on the third day fulfills, but rather the whole story points forward to something big happening on the third day. Hamilton references GK Beale's excellent The Temple & The Church's Mission which is a seriously helpful (if long) book. Particularly helpful is what Hamilton draws on in terms of the mandate to expand Eden to a global temple. A temple extended out from Jerusalem by the disciple-makers from Matthew 28 forwards.

More from James Hamilton at


  1. Richard Pratt (amusing email address: came to Wycliffe and gave some phenomenal lectures on covenant theology & preaching, developing Beale's BT tracing Mt 28 back to Gen 2 & up through 1 kings 4 to Jesus...really got me thinking - gospel work is the means by which Adam's work becomes achievable, not the end, not the work itself. Some interesting implications on the role of humanity in Rom 5-8 and 1 Cor 15.

    Anywho, he's worth looking out for. I think he was at HArvard then Wheaton for a while and is now in charge of a genius ministry called Third Millenium Ministries, aiming to produce seminary level biblical education for anyone in the world in their own language for free.

  2. GK Beale gave a lecture summarizing The Temple & The Church's Mission (it's about 1h40mins) followed by a Q&A Session.
    The audio is available here .

    Look for: Authors Forum with G. K. Beale (3/30/07) and Making Sense of Revelation (Conference Q & A) March 31, 2007


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