4 “and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
4and that He was buried,
Burial confirms death and shows its finality. The disciples placed a corpse in the tomb and sealed it shut, authenticating the reality of His death. They buried Him in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. This is proof of His death.
Notice the passages that deal with Jesus’ funeral (Mt 27; Mk 15; Lu 23; Jn 19). Note who did not attend and who did attend the funeral. Joseph of Arimathea attended the funeral and he was a member of the Sanhedrin (major leader in Israel). He begged Pilate to bury the body of Jesus, and that was not a popular thing to do among his associates in the Sanhedrin. Neither Peter, James, nor John did that. You would have thought it would have been they who buried Him, since they were with Jesus for three years. Instead, it was an unsung, unknown member of the body of Christ by the name of Joseph of Arimathea.
Nicodemus also attended the funeral. He initially came to Jesus “by night” (Jn 3) and was a member of the Sanhedrin as well, for he, too, was a secret disciple. It took the death of Christ to bring these two men out into the open. Some people crack under pressure but these two became strong under pressure. They buried Jesus in Joseph’s tomb, but Joseph did not know that he only lent that tomb to Jesus. The synoptic gospels tell us that Mary Magdalene, Salome (mother of James and John), and Mary the mother of James and Joseph (sister of Jesus’ mother) were there, as well as some other unnamed women. Where were the apostles? They were not present. They did not show, for it was dangerous. There was no church service; it was a very crude affair, no committal, no casket.
and that He rose again the third day
The Father raised Jesus from the dead; Jesus did not raise Himself from the dead. Jesus predicted that He would rise on the third day (Mt 12:40; Lu 24:6). The death of Christ without the resurrection of Christ would be like making a payment and not getting a receipt. There would be no way of knowing whether God had accepted the price Christ paid on the cross. If Jesus had stayed dead and buried, we could never have ascertained whether God was pleased with His sacrifice for sin – but Jesus came forth from the grave, triumphing over sin and death.
according to the Scriptures,
The Old Testament prophesied the resurrection of Christ. Jesus’ resurrection happened just as the Scriptures said. Jesus rose from the dead just as Psalm 16 declared He would.
The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of our resurrection.
Jesus died as our substitute, as our representative, in our place. He died to pay the price for our sins. He took our penalty and took our punishment. Jesus bore the brunt of God’s wrath and justice against us and our sins. Jesus rose from death to give us eternal life. That is why we make such a big deal about Jesus. No one ever cared for us like Jesus.
So that we can fix in our minds the significance of the resurrection of Christ, let us look at some key passages.
Jn 2: 19Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Jn 10: 17“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Ac 2: 23Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
Ac 3: 15and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
Ac 5: 30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Ac 17: 30Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Ac 26: 22Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
Ro 4: 25who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Ro 6: 4Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Ro 8: 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. …34Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Ro 14: 9For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
1 Co 15: 20But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
2 Co 5: 14For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Ga 1: 1Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),
Ep 1: 19and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Co 1: 18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
1 Th 1: 9For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Th 4: 13But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
2 Ti 2: 8Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,
He 13: 20Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Pe 1: 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, …21who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
1 Pe 3: 18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
Re 1: 18I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
One day, because of the resurrection of Christ, we will see those who have gone ahead of us – not merely in spirit but in body. When we attended their funerals, they were not there, for only their bodies were present. Their souls and spirits had gone on ahead. However, in heaven we will see their bodies as well. Oh, what a blessed reunion that will be.