Why did Jesus rise on Sunday rather than Saturday?

posted in: Bible, Tony Thompson 2

Two years ago, I began to ponder on this question, why did Jesus rise on Sunday rather than Saturday? It doesn’t enhance the story? Why a day between the events of Jesus death and resurrection? Saturday is without name, is it also without meaning?

I didn’t feel I had the definitive answer, but I had some thoughts which I shared on Good Friday that year. I share them again in this to help you prepare for this year’s Easter weekend and because I have some further thoughts I will be sharing on Easter Sunday.

Christ rose on the 3rd day “according to scripture”.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15v3-4.

It was according to scripture, but what scripture? I do not know of any verse that says the Messiah will rise from the dead, let alone on the 3rd day! However Old Testament is full of 3 day stories.

e.g.  Josephs brothers released from prison on 3rd day, Abraham 3rd day sees sacrifice, Rahab and spies. Sign of Jonah.

3 day stories have the following in common.

  • Day 1 trouble, 2nd day more trouble, 3rd day deliverance from God.
  • Don’t know it is a 3rd day story until 3rd day. May be 1 or 2 day story……..

So a student of Scripture wouldn’t be surprised that Jesus rose on the 3rd day – there is a tradition of 3 day stories.

What is so special about the 2nd day and what do you do on Saturday?

Saturday is the day after a prayer gets prayed, the day before it gets answered, the day life doesn’t work out as you expect.

It is a day of reflection, rather than action.

For the disciples, their best dreams have died but at least they are still alive.

They have not slept for a long time, they woke up on Saturday – what do they do? Reflect that they thought they would change the world. Reflect on what went wrong. Jesus failed. How could we have done things differently?  If that happens to Jesus, what about them? What about Judas?

When we are in the same position as the disciples, between Friday and Sunday, we have several different options.

Despair – decide always Friday, resurrection will not happen. Some Christians live like that.

Denial – simplistic explanation, forced optimism, live on surface veneer of faith, pretend already Sunday.

Can wait on the Lord – not just passivity, fatalistic, I wait on Sunday with Him.

Can be with God on Saturday in a unique way – he is your only hope.

Why is Saturday so important?

I think there is a miracle of Saturday as well as Sunday. The miracle of Saturday is that the eternal son of God dies, and is in the grave, in death, in hell. Therefore, where can you not find him? Whatever pain, disappointment we face we know Jesus is there. We also know it is only Saturday, Sunday and deliverance are coming.

We live in a Saturday world. God is at work on Saturday.

Our hope is about resurrection, but don’t give up on Saturday. God is Lord of Saturday. Ours is a 3 day story.


Written by Tony Thompson

2 Responses

  1. Lizzie P.

    This is powerful. I bless God. Thank you for Sharing.

  2. Glen Stewart Davidson

    Thank you Tony this is really great.

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