With the help of my Master, I will attempt to explain why it was necessary for Christ to be resurrected on that third and appointed morning. I know a vast majority of people who read this will already know what I have just typed. But, maybe, just maybe, there will be some who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and by them perusing this, may, through the drawing of God, find Jesus sweet to their soul. If even one would come to that knowledge, then it will be worth it all.
The Old Testament, eventhough we no longer live under it, has many types, many shadows, of things pertaining to Christ. In Jonah ch. 1:17 it states this, “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah was a type, a shadow, of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, which was to come to fulfill the Law. Jonah was in the belly of a whale/great fish. God wanted Jonah to go to the land of Ninevah to proclaim to them that He was going to destroy them for their wickedness. Jonah did not want to do this, and took and boarded a ship. That is why God prepared for him a great fish(though Jesus referred to it as a whale in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”). It was after the men of the ship had tossed Jonah overbaord, that the whale swallowed him, and he was there for three days and three nights. Now, in chapter 2 of the book of Jonah, this was the prayer of Jonah: “Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land”, Jonah 2:1-10. I tend to see this as the time which Christ was being persecuted and the crucified on the cross, and then three days later being resurrected. Jesus was being punished for our sins, the church, and had to be seperated from His Father, being the symbol of sin. He suffered the afflictions that were supposed to be ours. But being our Scapegoat, our sacrificial Lamb, He bore our sins for us, and took our beatings for us, being our sinbearer.
Now, John 14:19, Jesus stated this, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” If Jesus’ body had remained in the grave, He would not be alive(fleshly man, that is). Of course, God the Son, was always alive, but God the man, His fleshly body, tasted death, and went to the grave. His fleshly body would have decayed like ours if it had remained there. Therefore, when Jesus was baptized, it would have voided what it symbolized, His death, His burial, and His resurrection. In Acts 2, Peter proclaimed this, ” For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”(Acts 2:25-33). Jesus had to be resurrected in order to fulfill the Law, to defeat Satan, and to be our High Priest. It is by Him that we live, and move and have our being(Acts 17:28). We are dead, yet our lives are hid with Christ in God(Col. 3:3).
And lastly, if Christ had not been resurrected, He would have been a false witness when He stated He had power to lay His life down, and power to take it up again(John 10:18). If Christ be not risen, our preaching is in vain, and our faith is in vain(1 Cor. 15:14). Everything Jesus did was in power, so don’t think what I am about to type is discreditting what He did. We speak of the works of Christ, and what He did in the power of God, yet the most powerful thing He did was raise His body from the dead, and ascend to the Father. He completed the will of the Father when He came forth from the grave, and was seated on the right hand of God in Heaven. He is now our High Priest, He is our mediator of a better covenant, He is our Surety, He is our Hope, which is our anchor of the soul. None of this would have been possible if Jesus’ body had remained in the grave and tasted corruption like ours will.