On Friday we celebrate the cross of Christ. On Sunday we celebrate His resurrection. The Apostle John makes much of these three days in his Gospel.
John stresses the fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection prove that He is the Christ, the Son of God, the Promised One who guarantees everlasting life to all who believe in Him for it.
Fulfilled Prophecy: The Finished Work of Christ (John 19:28-31)
Jesus had said that the sign that He would give to prove that He is the Messiah is that He would rise on the third day (John 2:18-22). In the Jewish way of thinking, a part of a day counted as a full day. So, day one of Jesus’ awaited resurrection was Friday from 3:00 when Jesus died until sundown that day. While on the cross He said, “I thirst” and “It is finished.” Both are fulfillments of OT prophecies (Ps 22:15; Isa 53). The finished work of Christ means the following:
- He did all the work. There is no work left for us to do (John 6:28-29).
- He took away the sin barrier (John 1:29). We do not need to deal with our own sins.
- His promise of everlasting life to all who simply believe in Him is true. His finished work proves that as John 20:30-31 indicates.
Do you believe that His work is finished?
If so, are you sure you have everlasting life by faith in Him?
John 3:16 says it all. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but has everlasting life. It really is that simple.
More Proofs That Jesus Died in Fulfillment of Scripture (John 19:32-37)
If Jesus had still been alive, the soldiers would have broken His legs, as they did the two thieves. The reason for breaking the legs is that if a person on the cross could not push up, he would suffocate.
John mentioned in verse 36 that the OT prophesied that none of Messiah’s bones would be broken (Ps 34:20). In Exodus 12:46 the Israelites in Egypt during the first Passover were told not to break any of the bones of the Passover lamb. That is because the Passover lamb was a type of Christ.
John also points out that when the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side to determine if He was dead or not, they fulfilled Psalm 22:16-17 and Zechariah 12:10.
These things were foretold up to 1,000 years before Jesus died on the cross!
They prove that Jesus is the Christ and that all who believe in Him have everlasting life.
Joe and Nic Bury Jesus, in Fulfillment of Scripture (John 19:38-42)
Here is yet another fulfillment of Scripture. Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made His grave with the wicked—but with the rich at His death.” Jesus was crucified with two wicked men. He was with these wicked men when He died. But His burial was with the rich.
Joe and Nick were rich men and were secret disciples of Jesus. But they came out in the open and boldly claimed the body of Jesus for burial in Joe’s garden tomb that was near Golgotha.
Resurrection Proof: Peter and John See the Empty Tomb (John 20:1-10)
Shawn put a cartoon on our office wall. It reads, “John said, ‘I won.’ Peter said, ‘So what? No one will ever know.’ John then smiled and said, ‘Everyone will know.’” This is a small but very personal touch. They ran because they were so excited. Like Thomas later, they needed proof that Jesus had risen. They got that proof when they got to the tomb.
John tells us that “he saw and believed” (v 8). Believed what?
First, John, and certainly Peter as well, now believed that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Second, John and Peter now once again believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. They stopped believing that when Jesus died on the cross (see Luke 24:21, “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel”). They remained born again, of course, because everlasting life is everlasting. But for three days they stopped believing that Jesus is the Messiah. They evidently thought they were mistaken and that He was just a great prophet.
Resurrection Proof: Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord Jesus (John 20:11-18)
Mary Magdalene had run to tell Peter and John that the tomb was empty. She first saw two angels who ask her why she is weeping. Then she saw Jesus standing there but did not recognize Him because God hindered her for a moment. He too asked why she was weeping and whom was she seeking.
She thought Him to be the gardener. Remember that this was a garden tomb.
There is probably a play on words here. Adam and Eve first met the preincarnate Jesus Christ in the Garden of Eden.
Now Mary meets Him in another garden. In a sense this garden at that moment was the new Paradise because Paradise is wherever Jesus is (cf. Luke 23:43 re: the saved part of Sheol/Hades).
He then calls her by name, and she recognizes Him and calls Him Teacher.
This too is great proof of the resurrection. Mary did not believe He had risen. She had to be convinced. And she was. Her weeping was turned to joy.
Resurrection Proof: Jesus Commissions the Disciples (John 20:19-23)
Jesus came into a room without opening the door. He just appeared. This too was a great miracle.
He showed them His scarred hands and side.
The disciples’ grief was turned to gladness.
Jesus then commissioned them to go out as His representatives.
They would not do this until Pentecost, when they received the Spirit.
Again, here is great proof of the resurrection.
Resurrection Proof: Thomas Doubts No Longer (John 20:24-29)
Thomas often gets a bad rap. But none of the disciples believed until he personally saw the risen Christ. Thomas was just the last of the eleven to see Him after He rose.
It is eight days later when the same scene plays out again. Again, the doors were shut, and Jesus just appeared. Again, He shows His hands and side.
This is another great proof of the resurrection.
Thomas now comes to believe the same two things: 1) Jesus has risen, and 2) Yes, He is the Christ, the Son of God.
In verse 29 the Lord points out that there will be people who have not literally seen the risen Lord and yet come to faith. We come to faith through the testimony of others who saw Him risen from the dead.
The Three Days Should Lead Us to Believe That Jesus Is the Christ, the Son of God and Have Everlasting Life (John 20:30-31)
Why all these proofs about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Why did John emphasize those proofs?
The reason is to lead the readers to believe something and thereby be born again (John 20:30-31).
Some people wrongly think that if anyone believes that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose bodily from the dead, then he is born again even if he believes that he has to work to get into Christ’s kingdom and to avoid eternal condemnation.
But these verses contradict that view.
The eight signs all are meant to lead an unbeliever to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing that they would have everlasting life in His name.
A person could come to faith from any of the eight signs. Or even apart from the eight signs. But John’s purpose in recording these signs was to lead unbelievers to faith in Christ for everlasting life.
Compare John 11:25-27. To believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God is to believe that He guarantees everlasting life that cannot be lost to all who believe in Him for that life.
Three days that changed the world: Good Friday till Resurrection Sunday.
Those three days should change your life forever, as well.
Those three days should lead people to believe that all who simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ have everlasting life and can never lose it. And once one is born again, Resurrection Sunday means his life here and now can become an abundant life. The resurrection life of Christ resides in the believer and can and should lead us into victorious living.