Holy Week 2012: The Third Day

Read:  John 20:1-18

Every time we affirm our faith, we say “on the third day he arose from the dead.”  Why not say, “on Easter Sunday he arose from the dead?”

Simply because Jesus could not make it to Easter Sunday morning unscathed, and neither can we.  We get to the “third day” through the first day of suffering and the second day of numbness.

But thanks be to God—there is the “third day.”  After the long Lenten liturgical season when we cannot say “alleluia,” today we can.  Churches all over the world today will sing and say, “Christ the Lord is risen today, alleluia!”

The third day.

But….not everyone who goes to church today will be living in the “third day.”  Some will still be in the first day; others in day two.  We must be sensitive to the fact that, just like some of the first disciples, the news of resurrection is something to be doubted, more than believed.

The third day is a day to hang in there with those who have yet to “see the Lord.”  It’s the day to tell the story (even behind locked doors), until the Risen Christ walks through the barriers and says, “Take heart, it is I.”

The third day.  Jesus is alive!  Something for some to celebrate and others to hope for.  A day for God to reveal “the rest of the story.”


About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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