What an awesome Easter weekend we had at Liberty celebrating the resurrection! I had the privilege to preach on “three days.” Throughout Scripture we see an emphasis on three days: on the third day Abraham saw where he was to sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22:4), Esther asked the people to fast for three days (Esth. 4:16), Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days (Jon. 1:17), and Jesus performed His first miracle on the third day (John 2:1). There are too many examples to list! In Luke 24, we see that the greatest miracle of all took place on the third day (v. 7).
Day 1 – Pain
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb” (Lk. 24:1). Why? They saw Jesus suffer and die. The cross was a day of pain. Maybe this Easter season you are going through a painful experience/trial/test. Jesus understands your pain! He understands physical pain, with your body or health. Emotionally, Jesus was a man of sorrows. He was despised and rejected. There is purpose in your pain! God never wastes pain, He is present in it, and He uses the process. Through it all, God works it all together for good. The worst thing that ever happened in history turned out to be the best thing that ever happened in history. What appeared to be the end, was really the beginning. Out of death came life!
Day 2 – Perplexity
When the women tried to tell the disciples that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, “their words seemed to them like nonsense” (v. 11). We also read that Jesus appeared to the disciples on the Emmaus road but they didn’t recognize Him. Verse 21 says, “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Have you ever hoped things would turn out a certain way and they didn’t? If Day 1 is a day of suffering, Day 2 is a day of sorrow, silence, waiting, wondering, questioning, bewilderment, chaos, and confusion. God can handle all our questions, doubts, and fears. These disciples were walking the wrong way when Jesus came to them! They turned their back on Him, walking away from Jerusalem. Some of you have been disappointed in life. You had hope, but things did not turn out the way you planned. Maybe you’ve turned your back on Jesus and walked away. Like He found these men, God will find you when you are going the wrong way! He meets you where you are!
Day 3 – Promise
If Day 1 is a day of pain, and Day 2 a day of perplexity, the third day is the day of promise. It is the day of resurrection! Jesus not only offers resurrection, He is the Resurrection. He not only offers life, He is life! Jesus rose and conquered death so that everything we face could be conquered. Revelation 1:18 says, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” He took the keys of hell and death! The devil does not even have keys to his own house! Jesus unlocked death for everyone. All the promises of the Bible are worthless if Jesus did not rise from the dead. Life is full of pain and perplexities but ultimately the promises of God prevail.
Not only did Jesus walk and talk with the disciples, but He also stayed with them (v. 29). He walks with us in our rejection, regret, and pain of yesterday. He talks with us in our doubts, fears, and the perplexities of today. He stays with us forever! He keeps His promises!
Verse 33 says, “They got up at once and returned to Jerusalem.” Remember, they had been walking away. Easter is the ultimate comeback story! Jesus came back to life! Some of you need to come to God. Others need to come back to God. Easter is the third day. Don’t worry about your past; you are not going back. Don’t worry about your future; God is already there. Today is the day of salvation! Jesus paid your debt. He gave His life to you fully. The only right response is to give your life to Him fully.