Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death. “God raised him from the dead on the third day” (Acts 10:40).
“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.” (Matt 12:40).
A Bible pattern is when a spiritual truth stated in one part of the Bible is repeated in a similar fashion in yet another portion of the Bible. Examine the third day patterns. The first two days don’t tell the whole story—the third day is the conclusion.
- On the third day— “the earth brought forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit.” (Genesis 1:12)
- On the third day— “Abraham looked up and saw the place [Mount Moriah] from afar.” There he intends to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering to God. Yet he assures his companions, “We will worship and return.” (Genesis 22:4-5)
- On the third day— Pharaoh releases his chief cupbearer from death row. (Genesis 40:20-21)
- On the third day— Joseph releases his brothers from prison in Egypt. (Genesis 42:17-18)
- On the third day— The Israelites request Pharaoh’s permission to make a three-day journey to offer sacrifice in the desert to God. (Exodus 3:18)
- On the third day— Plague nine, the plague of darkness, in Egypt ends, “though the Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings.” (Exodus 10:22)
- On the third day— God descends to Mount Sinai in fire with the sound of a shofar. He then reveals “The Ten Words”, Israel’s constitution of new life as a nation after their “resurrection” from the death of slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 19:16-19)
- On the third day— Israelites are to purify themselves with water after being in contact with the dead. (Numbers 19:12)
- On the third day— After coming to the river and preparing themselves, the Israelites cross the Jordan “to enter and possess the land that the LORD [their] God is giving to [them] as a possession.” (Joshua 1:11; 3:2)
- On the third day— Joshua’s spies emerge from hiding from the Jerichoites, then return to their commander. (Joshua 2:16, 22)
- On the third day— a famine during David’s reign ends. (2 Samuel 21:1).
- On the third day— a famine called for by Elijah the prophet ends. (1 Kings 18:1)
- On the third day— after asking God for release, King Hezekiah is healed of his fatal disease and offers thanks to God in the temple. (2 Kings 20:5)
- On the third day— Jonah is expelled from the fish belly. (Jonah 1:17/2:1 Heb) (Matt 12:40; cf Matt 16:21; 17:23)
- On the third day— After fasting, Esther puts on royal apparel and enters the palace of the Persian king in order to thwart a death plot against her people, the Jews. (Esther 4:16; 5:1)